Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs

2-pin coil pack used on early V12’s

If you own a V12 Aston Martin like the DB9, V12 Vantage, DBS or Virage, you’ve likely heard about the common issue with lumpy idle that is attributed to a misfire condition involving the spark plugs and coil packs.   I’ve done an extensive series on determining the issue and how to replace them (check it out here).  Getting your parts together for that project has one complication – are the coil packs the original 2 wire or the updated 3 wire design?   Even contacting Aston Martin won’t resolve the question – they don’t know.   They will tell you they slip streamed the change sometime during production in 2006 ‘ish.  The only way to tell for sure it to be halfway through the project when you can finally see the tops of the coil packs and count the actual wires.   This is of course a tough time to stop and order the correct coil packs, leaving your car disassembled for weeks waiting on parts.  If you just play the odds and guess, you may end up with a dozen incorrect (and expensive) coil packs.  This misfortune has definitely happened to a few owners.  Let me show you how you can find out for sure BEFORE starting the project. Continue reading “Determine if your Aston Martin V12 has 2 pin or 3 pin Coil Packs”

Storing your Aston Martin

[Photo credit – Damien Morley]
Each year as winter approaches many owners look to put their precious Aston away for a few months of hibernation.   I’m fortunate enough to live in a climate where I can drive my DB9 all year round (I’m not bothered by her getting wet in the few days of California rain we have each year).  If you are going to put your Aston away for more than a month, there are definitely a bunch of steps you should take so that she’s all ready to hit the road in the spring.  [Article Updated for 2021] Continue reading “Storing your Aston Martin”

What you don’t know can hurt you

What’s wrong in this picture?

Have a look at this picture of my DB9 – can you see what’s wrong on my Aston? It’s there, staring right at us. Not recognizing it could hurt your pocket book, your Aston, and potentially even you.  I’ll give you a clue – one tire is down an alarming 10 psi. But can you even tell which one? Continue reading “What you don’t know can hurt you”

Garage Sale!

I wanted to draw your attention to a new area on the Aston1936.com website – the Garage Sale page.

The Garage Sale page is where I am selling off various bits and bobs from projects on the site.  Sometimes I buy a new set of parts just to complete the videos and articles and I am left with a perfectly good set of parts.   Rather than accumulating them indefinitely (like most of the crap in my home Garage) I’d rather sell them on to another Aston Owner to help out with their project.

I’m selling them at very reasonable low prices (far below retail) rather than giving things away entirely.  I am using the proceeds to undertake more projects I can share with you all (and to buy any specialty tools needed for the projects :>).

So if you are looking for some parts for your Aston please check out the Garage Sale page every once in a while.   You’ll be helping keep Aston1936.com going!

Differential Fluid for an Aston Martin DB9

Limited Slip Differential

The rear differential is an often neglected but essential component of the high performance drivetrain in an Aston Martin DB9.  Most people know about engine oil and transmission fluid, but what about the unsung hero of the rear wheel drive – the differential? All Gaydon era Aston Martins (DB9, Vantage, DBS, Rapide and Vanquish) have a ‘limited slip’ high performance rear differential.   It is lubricated by special gear oil (differential fluid).  For cars with automatic transmissions Aston Martin recommends it be changed every two years as part of the 2 year annual service regime (learn about that here).   I dug in and researched what the correct differential fluid.  It is different for manual or automatic transmission vehicles, so read on which one is right for your car. Continue reading “Differential Fluid for an Aston Martin DB9”

The Definitive Guide to Gaydon era Aston Martin: The Ultimate Aston Martin Buyers Guide

Many refer to this buyers guide as the ‘Bible’ when it comes to understanding the evolution of the Gaydon era Aston’s. Grant Neal has authored this book as a labor of love over the past 10 years and 16 editions. Grant has extraordinary access to information, rare photos and details of the past and current models. The book is a visual extravaganza including show cars, prototypes and technology details. It’s full of interesting details for each model and covers options, colors, configurations, strengths and weaknesses.

In April 2021 he published the latest edition (16th) that now includes new information on the DBX SUV and special editions of the DB11 and new Vantage. If you are looking at purchasing a used Gaydon era DB9, Vantage, DBS, Rapide, Vanquish, Virage, One-77, DB11, or DBX this book should be required reading. It will allow you to go into the purchase with more model specific knowledge.

Continue reading “The Definitive Guide to Gaydon era Aston Martin: The Ultimate Aston Martin Buyers Guide”

Aston Martin Vantage Production Numbers

Tim Cottingham is the official registrar of the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.  He’s the keeper of the production data for most all of the cars, and does the tireless research to tally up how many of which platform in which configuration.  [Tim also created the fabulous AstonMartins.com website with tons of terrific information and photos about all things Aston]

Recently he teased us all with a post on the Aston Martin Heritage Trust Facebook Group where he showed the production numbers for the Gaydon era VH2 platform Vantages.   These include the all the V8 and V12 variants of the coupes and roadsters. Continue reading “Aston Martin Vantage Production Numbers”

Power Steering Fluid for an Aston Martin DB9

(NOT me at the wheel)

Did you know that all Gaydon era Aston Martins (DB9, Vantage, DBS, Vanquish) use a hydraulic power steering system like many modern cars.  Since it is hydraulic, that means it has hydraulic fluid, or more commonly described as Power Steering Fluid.   Like any fluid in your car it can break down or leak away, so checking the fluid level should be part of every Annual Service.  If you discover that the fluid level is low, the next question is what do you top it off with?  Early model DB9’s even have an issue with the original fluid they used.   Read on to learn what the correct fluid is and what the issue was with early cars. Continue reading “Power Steering Fluid for an Aston Martin DB9”

Coolant for an Aston Martin DB9 V12

A long time ago choosing the correct coolant for a car used to be easy.  Water.  Then along came glycol based antifreeze like Prestone and it was still easy- put the green stuff in.  The situation today is considerably different with Blue, Green, Pink, Red and even Orange coolants.   Generally the colors indicate a different standard, but you can’t count on the color alone any more.

According to Aston Martin the coolant in V12 engines should be changed every Five (5) years as part of your annual service.  The question is – Changed with what?   Read on to learn more. Continue reading “Coolant for an Aston Martin DB9 V12”

Engine Oil for an Aston Martin DB9

Choosing the brand of Engine Oil appears to be a religious decision for some.  Not just Aston Martin owners, but with car enthusiasts everywhere.  From Mobil 1, to Motul, Castrol, Royal Purple, and even generic cheapo brands the forum discussions run the gamut hot and heavy.   I take a more pragmatic approach to it – What does Aston say is best for it?  In this article I’ll take you on a quick FACT based tour of the requirements for the V12 engine (note this is not the same for the V8’s in the Vantage).  If you want the short version to skip the reading, just use Mobil 1 0W-40 like Aston recommends.  Read on for the why…. Continue reading “Engine Oil for an Aston Martin DB9”