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”

How to Replace the PCV Valves in an Aston Martin DB9

In previous articles I’ve described how engine oil can build up in your intake manifolds of your Aston Martin DB9 due to malfunctioning PCV valves (made by Ford of course) and how the PCV system is supposed to work.  In another article, I have covered what parts you would need to order to deal with this, and it included two (2) options; Option 1 is the lowest cost and just swaps the PCV valves themselves, and; Option 2 is my recommended option that swaps the Vacuum Harness Assembly, which happens to also contain the PCV valves.   This article will cover both options. Continue reading “How to Replace the PCV Valves in an Aston Martin DB9”

Removing the PCV Valve Assembly Harness from an Aston Martin DB9

Oil build up in the intake manifold

I’ve already explained why you might need to change the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valves in an Aston Martin DB9 in a previous article (usually because engine oil is showing up in your intake manifolds), and what parts you might need (check out this article).  In this article I will explain the process of how to remove the existing PCV Valves along with their harness assemblies. Continue reading “Removing the PCV Valve Assembly Harness from an Aston Martin DB9”

Parts Needed to Change the PCV Valves on an Aston Martin DB9

If your DB9 needs it’s Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valves replaced due to oil buildup in the Intake Manifolds (see my full article on this) then you need to track down the right parts to get it serviced – and that’s what this article is all about.

My enthusiasm for the task led me into trouble (and I can save you from the same mistake if you read through this article).  I wasn’t sure what parts a dealer would normally replace to deal with the oil build up, so I asked the parts manager Rob Sims at HMV England whom I was dealing with.   He promptly sent me the parts diagram, and a list of bits he said they typically serviced.  What I failed to consider was ‘context’, the dealer may be rebuilding an engine and PCV system outside the car, and I was just a newbie trying to do this under the hood on a weekend. Continue reading “Parts Needed to Change the PCV Valves on an Aston Martin DB9”

The Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) System in an Aston Martin DB9 – and what Sucks about it!

This is a weak spot in the DB9 engine.  If you’ve ever removed your throttle body and found a puddle of engine oil laying in the intake manifold chamber, the PCV system is to blame.   In this article I am going to give a short background of the ‘what’s going wrong’, and then in the next articles I will lay out which parts you need and how to replace them. Continue reading “The Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) System in an Aston Martin DB9 – and what Sucks about it!”

Changing the Battery in an Aston Martin DB9

Eventually you have to service the battery in your DB9.  They just don’t last forever – and the typical lifespan of a traditional flooded lead acid battery (like the ones originally fitted) is about 5 years.  The good news is that when the time comes to replace your battery you’ll be well equipped to know how and avoid a potentially costly trip to the dealership.

Parts Required

bosch-49-850bagm-batteryIf you are wondering about what battery to get I’ve already completed a detailed article you should check out – Replacement Battery Options for an Aston Martin DB9.   You’ll see how I gravitated to purchasing a Bosch 49-850BAGM Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) battery.   Now I’ll share the details of how to install it. Continue reading “Changing the Battery in an Aston Martin DB9”

Replacement Battery Options for an Aston Martin DB9

Helpful Neighbor Rob

My baby left me stranded.  I use my DB9 as my daily driver, and I was out on an errand run – ATM then Dry Cleaning then Lunch – all close together.   After the dry cleaning stop I went to start her, and rather than the glorious roar to life, all I got was “Ruh – ruh – click”.  Crap – stranded in the local strip mall parking lot amongst all the Fords and Toyotas – all that start.  My pride was suffering.  Dead Battery.  Fortunately my neighbor Rob and his Subaru came to the rescue and gave me a boost.

Of course, there are a myriad of reasons for a dead battery – leaving the lights on, failing alternator, etc.  Mine was simpler.  Batteries don’t last forever.  A typical lead acid battery (like those originally fitted to a DB9) have a life span of about 5 years under normal regular use.   I had no idea if the battery fitted to my car was the original (since I am not the first owner and have little service history), but as I discovered it was the original, and that meant it was 11 years old!  Wow!   California living.

There had been precursors to the event that I can recognize now looking back on the few weeks preceding this: Continue reading “Replacement Battery Options for an Aston Martin DB9”

Resetting the Time for Regular Service Warning on an Aston Martin DB9

time-for-regular-service-warning-indicator-on-an-aston-martin-db9One day you’ll get into your DB9 and just after “Power Beauty Soul” you’ll be greeted with “Time for Regular Service”.  The DB9 has a scheduled maintenance due every 1 year or 10,000 miles (whichever comes first).  I don’t know exactly how it keeps track of the time (maybe via the GPS providing it the date), but mine recently went off on what was nearly the exact anniversary date from the previous year (I had only driven about 5,000 miles in the 12 months, so it wasn’t the miles driven that tripped it).

As readers of this Blog are aware, I try to do most of this kind of work myself, and in fact I have a complete collection of the 1 year and 2 year service steps posted (check them out).   When this indicator went off, I had already completed my 1 year service regime about a month earlier.  Time to figure out how to turn it off. Continue reading “Resetting the Time for Regular Service Warning on an Aston Martin DB9”

Replacing the Side Repeater Light Assembly on an Aston Martin DB9

The Side Repeater Lights on my DB9 have discolored to a Yellow’ish from the UV in the harsh California sunlight.  I know, this concept is completely unfathomable to my readers in the UK, and probably a design issue the factory never considered – “Sunlight?  Bahh – just make it waterproof you twit – this is England”.  When I purchased my car from the DPO (Damn Previous Owner) it had the issue quite notably on just the left hand side assembly.  I can presume he parked the car during the day with that side facing South.

old-and-new-aston-martin-db9-side-marker-light-assembliesThe side repeater light is a turn indicator light mounted on the side of each front fender/wing.  When new, the plastic assembly is a clear lens with some white.   As you can see in this photo, the old one has got that ugly faded yellow plastic color compared to the bright, fresh and clean look of the new one. Continue reading “Replacing the Side Repeater Light Assembly on an Aston Martin DB9”

Fixing a Loose Wing / Side Mirror on an Aston Martin DB9

While driving I started to notice the faintest shimmy in the drivers side wing / side mirror on my DB9.   I’d only really notice it in my peripheral vision, just some hint that something was shaking occasionally.   It’s one of those things you forget quickly as soon as you don’t see it happening.  After a few occurrences I finally decided to check the mirror to see if it was loose.  Sure enough, you could wiggle the mirror body up and down.  Not the glass mirror itself, but the actual main structure of the mirror assembly.  I compared it against the opposite side mirror (mounted solid as a rock) and it was clear that my drivers side was loose. Continue reading “Fixing a Loose Wing / Side Mirror on an Aston Martin DB9”