Aston Martin DB9 Seatback Quick Release

Rear seat access is – umm – limited.

If the battery is dead in your Aston Martin DB9 – how to you move the right hand seat forward to access the battery that is UNDER the right rear seat squab?  If you’ve ever been in a DB9, the rear seat area is – ummm – very small.   Getting to that area is close to impossible unless you can tip the seatback forward.

Battery Disconnect Switch

A few readers have recently commented on this conundrum after they pushed the ‘Battery Disconnect’ button in the trunk/boot and then realized that disables the power to the seats.  Of course Aston didn’t put the ‘Battery REconnect’ button in the trunk/boot, they put that under the right rear seat squab – a small yellow button peering out through an access hole.  While this is inconvenient, at least there is a simple manual way to get the seatback to move out of the way.  Let me show you how. Continue reading “Aston Martin DB9 Seatback Quick Release”

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”

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”

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”

Adjusting the Windshield Washer Spray on an Aston Martin DB9

Not everything on an Aston Martin needs to be complicated. One of the simplest (and essential) tasks we can perform ourselves is to adjust the Windshield Washer Fluid Sprayers so they are properly aimed.   While often overlooked, this is a serious safety issue when you consider it.   Being able to wash off debris that splashes up and obscures your vision while driving  is a real necessity.  Checking this should be part of every annual maintenance event, but it can even be accomplished road side when you discover they aren’t working as needed on a trip.   Let me show you how. Continue reading “Adjusting the Windshield Washer Spray on an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Windscreen Washer Fluid Reservoir in an Aston Martin DB9

My DB9 would piddle washer fluid on my foot each time I’d top up the reservoir.   Kind of embarrassing [also reinforcing my Sweetie’s nick name for the car – Princess Piddles].  I knew she had the problem from the day I purchased her.  I saw the leak the first time I topped off the fluid, and in one of my earliest video’s I spotted a crack near the top of the plastic tank. As it turns out, a cracked tank is a very common issue with the DB9, Vantage and other Gaydon models. The leak was not catastrophic, it still held 90% of the fluid and certainly functioned, and I could have just left it this way indefinitely. But, you know me, I figured if it was a problem on my car, it might be a problem on yours, so covering how to change out the tank would help us all. Let me share a few of my tips as I show you how to tackle this yourself. Continue reading “Changing the Windscreen Washer Fluid Reservoir in an Aston Martin DB9”