The Ultimate Aston Martin DB9 Buyer’s Guide
Before you start searching for an Aston Martin DB9 for sale, let’s step back for a second and do some critical thinking. I agree, using the horsepower of your brain is not as fun as looking at advertisements for used Aston Martin DB9s, but it will save you a lot of time and money down the line, which you can use to do things other than drive your DB9 back and forth from the shop.
Really narrowing down what it is in you want in your used Aston Martin DB9 in terms of color, options, and transmission choice (paddle-shift automatic vs. manual), will pay dividends down the road, I promise you. Do your homework and you can find a used DB9 that will possibly retain its value or even appreciate, and of course serve as the pride of your garage. Alternatively, make an impulse buy and you might be stuck with expensive repairs or an example that you didn’t really want in terms of color/options, both unpleasant situations to say the least.
Best used Aston Martin DB9 colors and options
DB9s could be optioned with a variety of color combinations from launch in 2004, but in terms of retaining value and demand in the resale market, you should stick with conventional exterior/interior pairings. Blue/cream, silver/black, black/grey, black/black, green/black are all good choices — stay away from yellows, reds and powder blues; two-tone interiors are said to command a price premium.
When the DB9 was first introduced for MY2004 (MY = model year), the only transmission available was the Touchtronic 2 paddle-shift six-speed automatic (manufactured by ZF). A Graziano six-speed manual transmission became an option beginning MY2005. Rumor is that only about 5 percent of DB9s were ordered with a stick shift, making them exceedingly rare and thus more valuable.
For MY2007, AM introduced a Sports Pack option for the coupe only, which included lightweight 5-spoke wheels, stiffer front and rear springs, Multimatic dampers and a modified front anti-roll bar; ride height was reduced by 6mm.
The first, very subtle, facelift for the DB9 started with MY2009. They were fitted with a revised version of the 6.0-liter V12, up 20hp to 470hp, with torque up by 23lb-ft. to 443lb-ft. Aston also upgraded the automatic transmission, resulting in quicker and smoother shifts. Much of the suspension was overhauled for better ride quality and Bilstein dampers were now standard. The Sports Pack was still available as an option with the Multimatic dampers.
For MY2010, a new performance option package called Premium Sports Pack became available for the DB9, differentiated from the standard Sports Pack by its new Bilstein Adaptive Dampening System (ADS). The ADS became standard equipment beginning with the MY2011 DB9, eliminating the Premium Sports Pack option.
Most DB9 owners seem to prefer the Sports Pack. Estimates are about half of all DB9’s were spec’d with the stiffer suspension, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Other options to look into in terms of resale value and market demand are the upgraded Linn audio systems and the satellite navigation system.
Aston Martin DB9 common problems
AM experts seem to agree that the V12 is under-stressed and generally reliable, especially so for an exotic British GT car. Electrical gremlins can pop-up occasionally with faulty sensors being the cause most of the time — these are usually an easy fix. Of more concern is an engine with an oil leak. The 6.0-liter V12 does burn a little oil naturally, but an oil leak usually means the car has been abused.
Make sure to check the door locking mechanisms, power windows, seat controls, rising navigation screen and audio system for electrical problems. Creature comforts can be very pleasant when working properly, but very expensive to fix if something goes wrong, so take extra time to check over all these items when looking at used Aston Martin DB9s.
One forum member reported that the two most common electrical issues affecting DB9s occur with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and the optional Linn 950W audio system.
Besides the three recalls which have been issued for steering-related problems, the DB9 doesn’t seem to have many reported chassis issues. Be aware that the DB9’s body panels are bonded, making them difficult to work on, and can only be repaired by a specialist bodyshop. Check the edges of body panels at areas like the doors, door handles, hood and wheel arches to make sure the aluminum is not bubbling up, which happens when moisture gets underneath the paint and contacts the body, causing corrosion.
There have been two recalls concerning the control module for the heated seats, which if not addressed can cause them to get too hot and possibly even cause a fire. Navigation, Bluetooth and heated seats were all optional with MY2005; all three features were added as standard equipment beginning MY2006 after owners complained about the lack of standard features on their DB9s.
The leather used for the DB9’s interior is known to be high-quality and should only really wear on high traffic areas like the driver’s side seat bolster.
Aston Martin DB9 maintenance & service costs
There is no getting around this one, servicing an Aston Martin DB9 is expensive. The recommend annual service, which is basically an oil change and an inspection, will cost anywhere between $575-$1500. Replacing the clutch and flywheel should cost around $2000 for labor alone.
Forum members recommend finding a good independent shop that specializes in AM. This is probably easier to do if you live near a major city, so take that into mind when thinking about your purchase.
If you can afford it, however, I would have your DB9 serviced at an authorized Aston Martin dealer, getting the factory stamps in your owner’s manual and saving and carefully organizing all your receipts and records — this is the single best investment you can make in terms of resale value.
Where to buy your used Aston Martin DB9
There are many of us who love exotic machinery, but just can’t afford it new, so by shopping smarter we can realize our dreams of owning an Aston without mortgage-sized car payments and maintenance costs.
I hope you’ve found some useful information in this guide. If you have, take a look at Exotic Car List’s diverse selection of used Aston Martin DB9s for sale.