How to Remove the Grill from an Aston Martin DB9

My 7-bar grill looking a little tatty

The iconic grill of a DB9 is one of distinctive and signature looks of any Aston Martin.  The shape is immediately recognizable to any car enthusiast.  The early DB9’s were fitted with the distinctive 7-bar grill that has 7 horizontal bars.  Later models received an updated 5-bar grill.  Same grill shape, just fewer bars.  The 5-bar grill can even be retrofit to the earlier models.  The grill in the Vantage is similar, but absolutely not the same (8-bars and a different construction).

From what I’ve learned grills came in different finishes.  The grill in my DB9 is an anthracite grey color.   I’ve seen that a ‘polished’ finish was also available as an ~ $1,000 upgrade. Continue reading “How to Remove the Grill from an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Remove the Engine Slam Panel from an Aston Martin DB9

What the heck is a ‘Slam Panel’?   When you have the engine compartment open in your DB9 and you gaze with amazement at the V12 engine, the slam panel is the large panel right in front of you that covers the area between the front bumper and the front of the engine itself.   It has the cool little plaque listing the name of the final inspector at the factory that signed off on your car (thanks Paul!). Continue reading “How to Remove the Engine Slam Panel from an Aston Martin DB9”

Aston Martin DB9 Dashcam – Keeping an eye on things!

Last summer we went away for a long weekend staying in Northumberland at a hotel/country club that incorporated a Spa. When we arrived a hen party of young women, there for a Spa day, showed particular interest in the Aston as we checked in. After unloading our bags, I moved the Aston to the car park from reception and thought no more about it.

The next day we visited Bamburgh Castle and as I was locking the car I happened to look along the bonnet (hood) towards the Aston Martin badge only to see an indentation in the bonnet just behind the badge where someone had presumably sat on the bonnet for a photograph. I can’t say for sure that it was one of the young women but it was a heck of a coincidence!!!! It’s not desperate and most people don’t see it until it’s pointed out to them but I know its there and that’s enough for me to have to do something about it, I have a good body shop guy so I’ll get round to talking about it with him at some time.

On checking with the hotel it turned out that their CCTV didn’t cover the area of the car park where we were parked …. typical !!!

As a result, I decided that the only way to make sure I can see what is going on with the Aston when I leave it is to install my own dashcam. Continue reading “Aston Martin DB9 Dashcam – Keeping an eye on things!”

Protecting the Headlights of an Aston Martin DB9 using Clear Bra Paint Protection Film

The Headlight assemblies in an Aston Martin DB9 are a major part of the it’s great looking front end.  We spend all sorts of time polishing and protecting the paint, but we usually ignore the headlights.  They are under constant attack from the Sun’s harmful UV rays that are trying to discolor them, and from road debris popping up to try and scratch and chip them.   My DB9 is my daily driver here in California and I am out in the sunshine and on the roads every day.  I wanted to protect them now before the damage occurs.

The solution to protecting them is quite simple actually.  We can apply a Clear Bra of Paint Protection Film (PPF) to them.  PPF is a tough, clear, UV resistant film that can be stretched and applied over the curved headlight pod.  It filters out the Sun’s harmful UV rays, and is tough and resilient enough to prevent scratches from most road debris.   The really good news is that a kit is inexpensive, and simple enough for anyone to install themselves in about an hour.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Protecting the Headlights of an Aston Martin DB9 using Clear Bra Paint Protection Film”

How to Crank the Engine without Starting (deliberately) in an Aston Martin DB9

Normally you can get into your DB9, insert the key and touch the ‘Start’ button and the car immediately roars to life.  It’s one of the sweet pleasures of owning an Aston Martin.  But, what if you wanted to deliberately crank over the engine without it starting?  “Steve – you’re crazy man – why would you ever want to do that?” Continue reading “How to Crank the Engine without Starting (deliberately) in an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Install the Airbox in an Aston Martin DB9

I had to remove the airbox from my DB9 to replace the Front Position Lamp Bulb that had burned out (Check out that article and video here).   I’ve already shown you how to remove it in a previous article, and in this one I will show you how to reinstall it. Installing the airbox isn’t hard, and can be done with just a few basic tools. Continue reading “How to Install the Airbox in an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Remove the Airbox from an Aston Martin DB9

You may need to remove the airbox from your DB9 (or Vantage) to get to some other component that is buried in behind it.   In my case, I needed to reach the Position Lamp Bulb which had failed and is located in the deepest, darkest reaches of the inner fender area well-hidden above the airbox (check out my other video on how to change this).   Removing the airbox isn’t hard, and can be done with just a few basic tools. Continue reading “How to Remove the Airbox from an Aston Martin DB9”

Parts needed for a Full Brake Service of an Aston Martin DB9

If you drive your DB9 (or Vantage) regularly eventually you will need to service the brakes.  I started the process for my car by writing up an article about all the details of the braking system (read it here).   In another article I’ve covered the details of how to inspect your brakes to check if the pads, rotors, calipers and wear sensors are in good condition (read it here).  Based on that inspection if you’ve found that you only need to change your brake pads, I’ve created a separate article just covering that (read it here).  If you need to change more than you pads, then this article is next up for you.   I wanted to cover the parts and supplies you should round up before you do a Full Brake Service. Continue reading “Parts needed for a Full Brake Service of an Aston Martin DB9”

Seasonal Tire Pressure Warning in an Aston Martin DB9

First cool day of Fall

When I start my DB9 on the first cold day every fall it greets me with a scary “Check Tires” tire warning alert on the instrument cluster.  In frustration and alarm about all I can think is “Now what!”.  As it turns out this hasn’t been a big deal.

When the ambient air temperature falls, air gets denser.   Consequently, this causes the air pressure in a cold tire to drop slightly.  In our DB9’s, if the pressure drops below 30 psi the alert will trip the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS) to warn you of a potential issue.  A small pressure change isn’t the end of the world, but we need to follow up.   You can learn more about the TPMS system and what will cause an alarm in my more detailed article here.

I check the pressure in my DB9’s tires a few times each year, and when I set them in the summer the ambient air temp is usually 85+ degrees.  In the fall where I live (Northern California) the ambient temperature can drop to below 40 degrees, a 45+ degree change.  This appears to be enough of a change to trip the alert each fall.

Really bad photo in the dark (sorry) of the TPMS status lights in the trunk. The red LED is solid while the rest are blinking.

The next logical step is to get out of the car, open the trunk and look at the brains of Tire Pressure Warning system mounted along the top.   There are five (5) colored LEDs on the device, and you should discover at least one lit up solid and the rest blinking.  The one that is on solid is the one with a pressure problem.   In this occurrence on my car it was the Red LED that was solid (meaning the left front tire had an issue).  Each color corresponds to a specific wheel (that’s that those little colored bands are around the tire valve stem).  They are:

  • Yellow – Left Rear
  • Red – Left Front
  • Green – Right Front
  • Blue – Right Rear

[Note:  My car is a 2005, and later model cars may have a more integrated TPMS system, or even just tell you which tire is low and its pressure.  Early model owners need to follow this more manual approach].

Once you know which tire is alerting, grab your tire pressure gauge and check the pressure of that wheel (you can check out my other article on how to do this).   If its below 30 psi, you can confirm this is the problem tire.   Personally, I would recommend you check all four tires while you are at it since the others will likely be close to the same issue.

The solution now is to top up your tire pressures.   If you have your own compressor just add air to reach the ideal pressure of 36 psi in the fronts and 38 psi in the rears.  If you don’t have a compressor, and the tire is just down a couple of PSI, you can still drive safely to the nearest gas station and top of your pressure there.

Once you’ve topped up the pressure back to normal, the alert should clear.   You may need to turn off the car completely and start up again for the TPMS to recognize the issue is resolved and clear the alert on the instrument cluster.

Warning:  If you top up the air and the problem returns quickly on the same wheel, this is likely not because the outside air temp has dropped and you may have a puncture in the tire.   Time to take the car to a tire repair specialist immediately.   Don’t drive on a tire if the pressure is below 20 psi.  Don’t drive very fast or very far either or you risk damaging the core of the tire and it will need replaced (at significant expense since they have to be done in pairs).  And I wouldn’t use the can of tire repair ‘Goo’ in the toolkit of the Aston unless I was desperately stranded roadside.  That Goo may solve the problem temporarily, but you’ll be messing up the inside of the tire, the TPMS and the wheel rim.  My tires have been ‘Screwed’ a few times, check out this article.


Video

Here is a quick video of the experience I recorded on one of those days….

 

Changing the Front Position Lamp Bulb in an Aston Martin DB9

I hadn’t even noticed that my DB9 had one of these until a reader of this blog asked me how to change it out.   In each headlight cluster there is a small ‘Position Lamp’ that is always on when the lights are on.  You can see it here in this picture.  If you peer through the glass when the lights are off, you’ll notice the bulb is actually BLUE, even though when it’s on it appears mostly white.  Like any bulb they can burn out, and eventually one of mine did.   Is it the end of the world?  No, but one you notice it all I can think of is that it’s a one eyed pirate.   Changing this bulb isn’t trivial.   As you can see it’s right at the very front most area of the headlight pod and there is no easy access to it.   As you will learn in this article, it’s 99% prep getting to it, and 1% changing it.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Changing the Front Position Lamp Bulb in an Aston Martin DB9”