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.


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


Getting and Installing New Tires on your Aston Martin DB9

It doesn’t matter if your DB9 is a daily driver, track day star or a garage queen, eventually you’ll have to change your tires.  They will either wear out or get too old and become unsafe.  I use my car as a daily driver, and after about 4 years, 15,000 miles and 4 track days it was time to replace them.

Which Tires?

I did my research about my replacement tire options, and I’ve written that up in another article where I share what I learned (I suggest you check it out here).  In summary I decided to get a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S in the original sizes.  This article covers what I did after that decision. Continue reading “Getting and Installing New Tires on your Aston Martin DB9”

Tire Options for an Aston Martin DB9

The tires on your DB9 will need replaced eventually.  You either put enough miles on them that they wear out, or if they get old enough the rubber breaks down and it becomes a safety issue.  I’ve written a bunch about tire before, including how to inspect them for wear or age (check out the article here).

When the time comes to replace them, the question usually arises “with what”.  A few pieces of good news here.  We have options and they aren’t insanely expensive.

Worn out Bridgestone

I’ve changed the tires twice on my 2005 DB9 so far.  When I purchased the car in 2013 it still had the original factory shipped Bridgestone with a 2004 date code, they were 9 years old and cracking.  I replaced them with a new set of the same Bridgestone tires.   Fast forward 15,000 miles and 4 years and I’d worn those out, and figured I’d try a set of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.

When I looked into the options, here is what I learned…. Continue reading “Tire Options for 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!”

Torqueing the Wheel Nuts on an Aston Martin DB9

Torquing a Road Wheel on an Aston Martin DB9There are lots of reasons you might Torque the Wheel Nuts on  your DB9, but its anytime you’ve had a wheel removed or perhaps you are getting ready for a track day and should double check they are properly torqued.  I can tell you there is absolutely a wrong way to do it – just using an impact wrench and hammering them on until the gun stops turning.    Read on to learn the right way. Continue reading “Torqueing the Wheel Nuts on an Aston Martin DB9”

Installing a Road Wheel on an Aston Martin DB9

Installing the Road Wheel on an Aston Martin DB9There are a myriad of reasons you might have taken a Road Wheel off your DB9, but eventually it needs to go back on.  I know, I hear you laughing, how hard can this be.   It’s not hard, but there are a few tips I can share to help you get it done just the way Aston Martin wants. Continue reading “Installing a Road Wheel on an Aston Martin DB9”

Checking the Tire Pressures on an Aston Martin DB9

Checking the Tire Pressure on an Aston Martin DB9You might be checking your DB9 tire pressures routinely or even as part of an annual service.  There are some tips I can share with you here.

I’ve used the official Aston Martin Vehicle Inspection Checklist as my guide on what we should be checking.  You can see a copy of it here.

Check out my other posts and videos relating to your tires:

Checking the Tire Pressures

You should check the tire pressures when they are cold (after the car has been sitting for several hours).  Tire temperatures go up under normal driving, and this heat increases the tire pressure (which is normal).   All the specifications are for measuring and adjusting the tires pressures when they are cold. Continue reading “Checking the Tire Pressures on an Aston Martin DB9”

Inspecting the Tires on an Aston Martin DB9

Checking the Tire Pressure on an Aston Martin DB9You might be inspecting  the tires on your DB9 occasionally or as part of your Annual Service.  Aston Martin wants us to check more than just the tire pressures, and I think that’s a good idea.   We depend on these tires to keep us safe.

Continue reading “Inspecting the Tires on an Aston Martin DB9”

Tire Pressure Sensors on an Aston Martin DB9

Aston Martin DB9 Tire Pressure Sensor TPS
Yellow banded left rear TPS

The DB9 is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that includes Tire Pressure Sensors (TPS) mounted to each wheel.  They are an integral part of the air valve.   You’ll notice that each of your air valves has a colored ring around it, either Red, Green, Blue or Yellow.   In your trunk / boot is a mysterious little box with LEDs.  This is the TPMS indicator panel, and if you ever get a warning indication on the dash, you’ll need to check the LED’s and see which color is lit, and that’s the tire with the issue.

Continue reading “Tire Pressure Sensors on an Aston Martin DB9”

Measuring the Tire Tread Depth on an Aston Martin DB9

Measuring the Tire Tread Depth with a Vernier CaliperMeasuring the tire tread depths on your DB9 is part of every annual service.  This isn’t a sexy topic, but it is a very useful one if done correctly.  By measuring and reviewing the data properly, you can actually spot issues with your suspension, tire pressures and wheel balance.

Continue reading “Measuring the Tire Tread Depth on an Aston Martin DB9”