Affordable Aston Martin OBDII Reader

News Flash!!!  There is finally an affordable OBDII reader that can talk specifically to an Aston Martin.  If you do some of the service work on your Aston an OBDII reader is an essential tool as it can talk to the many computer modules that control the car.   I’ve written several articles already about the topic (you can find them all in this Collection here).  What was bothersome was that none of the aftermarket OBDII readers actual knew all the specific Aston Martin codes.   We could just talk to the Powertrain Control Modules (PCMs) since they were really made by Ford.   We had no access to all the modules on the “Body” port, which included the Airbag, Transmission, Door, Seat, Entertainment, and other control units.

Let me introduce you to the Foxwell NT510.   Foxwell is a Chinese company that makes a number of Automotive Diagnostic Tools.   They have updated this model to now include the codes for the Aston Martin DB9, DBS, Cygnet, Rapide, Vantage and Virage.  The unit has a color display, upgradeable firmware, can comes with a nice storage case.  Let me dive into a few details that matter. Continue reading “Affordable Aston Martin OBDII Reader”

How to Remove the Passenger Side Dash Panels from an Aston Martin DB9

I repeat, are you crazy?  Why would you want to take out the Dash Panels of your DB9?  As I mentioned in my other article on Removing the Drivers Side Dash Panels, there could be lots of reasons:

  • There is a squeak or rattle driving you nuts and you want to see what’s loose under there
  • The glue is failing and the leather is popping up on one of the panels and you need to get it off to take to the upholsterer
  • You are trying to access or remove the A-Pillar cover perhaps to have it re-trimmed or to remove your headliner

For me, I was working on removing my Sagging Headliner (as it turns out you don’t have to remove the A-pillar trim cover so this was a bit of a lark for me).  Whatever your reasons, I can show you how to do it below.

The process on the Passengers side is similar to the Drivers side, but is more difficult.  You have more challenges to deal with, namely the Airbag and Glove box.   In this article I will share the tips you’ll need to tackle this. Continue reading “How to Remove the Passenger Side Dash Panels from an Aston Martin DB9”

Screwed Again!

Well, actually it was a piece of metal that pierced my right rear tire.

Metal debris puncture

Walked into the garage this morning to see my three week old new Michelin tire flat as a pancake.  ARRGGGHHHH!  My initial thoughts were that the tire had been installed improperly by the dealer.  A quick peak around the tire and I spotted what looked like a nail stuck squarely into the tire in the center of the tread.  Crap.  If you follow this blog you may recall I got screwed in December 2016, almost exactly a year ago. Continue reading “Screwed Again!”

Come join me at the AMOC USA West Track Day 2018

If you are a frequent visitor of this Blog you know that I am a believer in taking our fabulous cars out for a stretch once in a while in the safety of an AMOC sponsored track day.  These are a great event and you are surrounded by other Aston’s with drivers sharing the same anxiety as you “Don’t hit my car”.  We all are out to enjoy our cars, not trash them.

Aston Martin Owners Club AMOC LogoThe AMOC USA West division has just announced its 2018 Track Day to be held again at the tremendous Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California on Sunday January 14th.

I am personally inviting you to join us and make the journey if you can from anywhere in California, Oregon, Nevada or wherever you are.  We only have room for 40 cars, so please sign up ASAP. Continue reading “Come join me at the AMOC USA West Track Day 2018”

How to Remove the Drivers Side Dash Panels from an Aston Martin DB9

Are you psychotic?  Why would you want to remove the Drivers side dash panels from your DB9?   I can think of a few reasons:

  • There is a squeak or rattle driving you nuts and you want to see what’s loose under there
  • The glue is failing and the leather is popping up on one of the panels and you need to get it off to take to the upholsterer
  • You are trying to access or remove the A-Pillar cover perhaps to have it re-trimmed or to remove your headliner

For me, I was working on removing my Sagging Headliner (as it turns out you don’t have to remove the A-pillar trim cover so this was a bit of a lark for me).  Whatever your reasons, I can show you how to do it below. Continue reading “How to Remove the Drivers Side Dash Panels from an Aston Martin DB9”

Parts needed to Reinstall the Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9

The headliner started to sag in my Aston Martin DB9 when the glue failed that bonded it to the shell underneath.  I’ve covered the details of this in another article you can read here.   Determined to fix it, I went about figuring out what parts I would need to accomplish the task.

As with most automotive interiors, many of the DB9 panels are held on with hidden plastic clips.  These clips are often fragile, and are usually ‘One Time Use’ meaning that even if they don’t break when you remove them, their function may be degraded when you try to reinstall them since they are stretched or mangled in some way.  As you remove your headliner you will actually encounter about 18 of these types of clips, which Aston Martin calls “Fir Trees” since they resemble a Fir tree in the woods. Continue reading “Parts needed to Reinstall the Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9”

Tools Required to Remove the Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9

The 11 year old glue failed between the Alcantara fabric and the headliner shell in my Aston Martin DB9 causing the headliner to sag (you can read about the details here).   If this has happened to you and you are about to embark on repairing or replacing it, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have the right tools on hand before you start. Continue reading “Tools Required to Remove the Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9”

Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9

Difficult to ignore

It all started on hot sunny California summer day when I got into my DB9 after work.  Open the beautiful swan wing door, slide butt into supple sculpted leather seat, and then WTF?!  Why is there fabric on my head?   As you can see in my happy owner photo here my headliner sagged and was draping across my head.  Crap – something else to fix and I am not an upholsterer.

You can’t ignore this problem and it needs immediate attention else it will drive you completely insane as it flaps in the wind with the windows open, or just lays on you and your passengers head when you sit in the car. Continue reading “Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9”

Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9

Clack! Awww,  for fucks sake….

That’s exactly what the sounds were inside the cabin when a rock popped up behind a big rig on a local Interstate and bounced off my Aston Martin DB9 windshield.  At first while still driving I didn’t see any chips or cracks, but when I got home to check it out more closely the hit had been near the upper right edge in the black area.  It had already spidered out and a 7 inch split was winding its way out into the passenger area.  About the only good news (being a relative term) was that another inch to the left and it would have chipped/dented the A pillar, a substantially more difficult (and costly) proposition to fix. Continue reading “Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9”

Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old

Another year has flown by.  This weekend Aston1936 turned officially two years old. The mission has stayed the same since the beginning – share what I learn as I live with my (now 12 year old) DB9 so that other owners can benefit and perhaps take care of their dream cars with just a little less hassle and expense.

Stats

increasing-statsSince last year traffic on the site has nearly tripled.   Two major things happened to contribute to this.   I’ve been fortunate enough now to write for Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine (see the details here), and the “True Costs of a DB9” video I made went sorta viral on YouTube, getting over 100,000 views so far (was probably discovered as a cure for insomnia).   Amazingly 19,000 viewers have read posts 60,000 times.  Currently about 90 people a day view a total of about 250-300 posts.  Viewers are from 132(!) countries all around the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and even one viewer from Turks & Caicos.  Just Wow. Continue reading “Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old”