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”

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”

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”

Come to Cars & Coffee

Hello all you Northern California and Nevada Aston Owners!

Just a quick post to invite you to join me at the upcoming Sacramento, California Cars & Coffee on Sunday September 24, 2017.  The Sacramento weather seems to be cooling down a bit so I hope it will be a glorious Sunday to sip a hot beverage and kibitz and oogle over other cars.

It would be great to see another Aston at the event, often I am the only one. Continue reading “Come to Cars & Coffee”

Installing the PCV Valve Vacuum Assembly Harness in an Aston Martin DB9

If you’ve been replacing your PCV Valves on your Aston Martin DB9 to cure an oil build up problem in your intake manifolds (check out my other articles on this) it’s likely you’ve had your PCV Valve Vacuum Harness Assembly removed and in this article I will explain how to properly reinstall it. Continue reading “Installing the PCV Valve Vacuum Assembly Harness in an Aston Martin DB9”

Heading to Japan on Vacation

I am packing up the family and heading to Japan for the next two weeks (through August 12th 2017) .   Sadly we are leaving Princess Piddles (my DB9) behind to fend for herself while we are gone.

A considerable number of readers of this blog are from Japan.  If you are interested in touching base while I am in Japan please leave a comment on this article, would be neat to visit and check out your Aston.   I know Japan is a big place and its not likely we’ll be that close, but you never know.  I’ll be in Tokyo, Aikita and Kyoto during the trip.

While on the plane, I plan on starting to write the next group of articles on the interior headliner sagging issue, plus the removal of all the dash panels, etc.   Should be lots of good stuff in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

 

Hey Steve – Where are the articles?!

I haven’t posted as many “How To” fix it articles in the last few months (my apologies) but it was actually due to a deliberate strategy I had to try and spread the word about Aston1936.com and reach more readers/viewers.  Aston Martin DB9 owners are a global community, and there are only about 6,000 of us, so reaching everyone is a bit of a challenge.

When I learned that my first article was being published in Aston Martin Quarterly (AMQ) magazine that mentioned this Blog, I wanted to have something relevant for most ANY Aston owner to read wen they arrived, not a super specific article on how to change a DB9 marker lamp.   Broad appeal.   I also didn’t know exactly when the magazine would start to ship, and even then it’s a global publication and I would need to allow several weeks for it to make it to all corners of the world.

As you’ve probably seen (and are bored of by now), I put the “The True Costs of Owning an Aston Martin DB9” up as the primary article for almost two months.   I put a substantial amount of effort into that article, and in particular the Video on YouTube.   I actually included myself as a presenter (Jeremy Clarkson I am not), wrote a script, planned out the scenes, and drafted my neighbor Rob as a cameraman again.  About 20 hours of effort to produce the resulting 15 minute video.

Aston1936.com readership increasing

The results have been a pleasant surprise.   Readership of this blog definitely started to increase as the AMQ article hit the streets in late May.   In months prior about 50 people a day were visiting, and now its closer to 100.   In May over 9,000 articles were read.  I appreciate ALL of the readers taking the time to read my ramblings and hopefully getting some information to help them with their DB9 project.

YouTube Statistics

The YouTube video on the True Costs has been the real surprise.  Most of my videos get viewed maybe 100-200 times (which I think is great), probably by actual DB9 owners tackling the maintenance task I am describing.  But, as of today, the True Costs video has been viewed over 76,000 times!  The video has been watched for over 600,000 minutes (that’s over a year of minutes)!   Great for the ego to be sure.  [Maybe it was discovered as a cure for insomnia]  What was also interesting was the 100’s of comments left by viewers (and some foul mouth trolls), 99% of which were constructive and positive.   Nearly 1,000 people are subscribed to the Aston1936 YouTube Channel now.  Won’t they be surprised when my upcoming PCV Valve videos get posted next.  I suspect my Subscriber count is doomed to dwindle.

But, the AMQ edition has fully circulated around the world now, and my brush with YouTube fame is waning, so its time to get back to the business of this Blog, helping others learn how to look after their own DB9’s.  I am going to try and get back into the habit of publishing an article per week.

I have a slate of articles I am getting ready in the weeks ahead (where the repair work is already completed along with filming), and they will include:

  • Sad man with Cracked Windshield

    Changing your PCV Valves (the final bits of the series)

  • What is costs to fix a cracked Windshield (including a time lapse video of the repair)
  • Removing/installing all the Leather Dash Panels
  • Removing/installing the Rear View Mirror
  • Removing/Installing the Headliner
  • Repairing a sagging headliner
  • Leveling the GPS cover on the Ski Slope of the Dash
  • Repairing the leather end cap on the drivers door
  • Snow Foaming your DB9

Also in the works for the future I have a few articles I am gearing up to under take:

  • A Brake Job – new Pads, Rotors, Caliper Bolts and Wear Sensors
  • Getting new tires – what the options are, differences, etc.  Bridgestone (OEM) vs. Michelin vs. Pirelli.
  • How to change every light on the car, and while I am at it change over to LED bulbs (including links to buy the bulbs online).
  • Changing the door/wing mirrors to the newer, improved design that was included on later models (that experience less wind noise).   The black plastic base on mine are starting to look like crap.
  • How to touch up small chips in the paint (the paint on these cars is weak and prone to chipping).

If anyone out there is interested in sponsoring the parts for some of these projects, please reach out and leave a comment.

If you are interested in these upcoming articles please leave me a comment below, it might help me prioritize the order I get them released in.

Thanks for reading!