Maintaining Your Aston Martin
This topic is probably the most common interest for people that visit Redpants. To help simplify things, here’s a guide for maintaining your Aston Martin.
This is a general guide, so keep in mind that certain circumstances will warrant a different maintenance schedule. For example, engine oil, gear oil, brake pads, and brake fluid need to be changed more frequently if you’re doing a lot of track days. Or, cabin filters and intake filters may need to be changed annually rather than every two years if you live in a dusty/sandy climate like the Middle East.
DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.
Months and Miles
Aston Martin recommends service be done based on intervals of 12 months or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. Most Astons are driven 10,000 miles per year, so the simplest approach is to pick a time of year to get your service done and stick with that. In other words, if you like doing your maintenance every Spring, pick a month and then do your annual service during that month each year. It doesn’t have to be exact, it’s just a way to remember when to do things.
If you’re one of the few that does drive your Aston more than 10,000 miles each year, then it’s best to do your service based on miles.
This is a general outline of the service intervals for each maintenance item. If you’re not sure when a given task was last performed, it might be worth just doing it based on the age of the car, or to play it safe you can do everything and restart with a clean slate.
1 Year / 10k miles
Engine oil change
This is the most basic maintenance task performed on any vehicle and should be done every year. There are a few drain points and various items that need to be replaced as part of the oil change. Our Oil Change Packages include everything needed. We recommend Motul engine oils, but there are several options available.
2 Years / 20k miles
Brake fluid flush
Replace engine intake filters
Replace cabin (pollen) filters
Replace key fob batteries
Replace windshield wiper blades
Each of these should be done every-other year. We offer 2-Year Service Packages to help simplify things.
4 Years / 40k miles
Gear oil change
The gear oil in your transmission needs to be replaced every 4 years. The filter can be cleaned and reused, but the fill and drain washers and the gear oil filter o-ring should be replaced, which we offer in a Gear Oil Change Package. The two gear oils we recommend are the OEM Castrol BOT270A and Motul Gear 300.
5 Years / 50k miles
As I mention further below, I recommend replacing your thermostat if you have a V8 Vantage at the same time as your coolant.
6 Years / 60k miles
Replace spark plugs
Replace coil packs
Spark plugs have a 60k-mile service life. The coil packs don’t necessarily have a stated service life, but they tend to start failing around this point. Since the coil packs have to be removed to access the spark plugs, I recommend replacing them at the same time.
Other maintenance items
In addition to the routine maintenance items listed above, there are more seldom things that need to be done. The following time frames for these items are based on my own observations and can vary considerably. These should be replaced as need.
Brake pads (2-3 years / 20-30k miles)
Brake pads wear down as used and need to be replaced once they get to their minimum thickness level. Aston Martins have brake pad wear sensors that alert you when that minimum thickness has been reached. Once triggered, a brake pad warning light will appear in the gauge cluster. While convenient, the sensors do come with a drawback: once you get a warning light, the sensor(s) that tripped the warning must be replaced. The sensors cannot be reused once they produce a warning.
Brake rotors (5-7 years / 30-50k miles)
The factory brake rotors tend to need replacement earlier than they should. I believe this is due to the OEM brake pads being overly aggressive and causing premature wear. Regardless, rotors have a minimum thickness (iron) or minimum weight (carbon). Once the minimum threshold is reached, you’ll need to replace your brake rotors. It’s sometimes possible to resurface your rotors. This depends on rotor condition and, if possible for your rotors, needs to be done in a manner that suits slotted brake rotors. This is a more specialized process than is used for normal “blank” rotors.
Tires (2-5 years / 20-40k miles)
Tire life varies based on driving style and tire compound. A sticky tire that sees a lot of track time may last only several thousand miles, if that. An all-season tire that is only used for stop-and-go commuting traffic can last for years. Regardless, keep in mind that tires do have an age limit. Even if tires have plenty of tread left, tires can dry out over time. This leads to other issues, the worst of which is catastrophic failure. Because of that, tires should be replaced every 5 years regardless of how much tread life is left.
clutch (5-7 years / 15-75k miles)
Yes, you read that correctly. The clutch in an Aston Martin can last as little as 15,000 miles, or be just fine for several years. If driven properly, the clutch can last for a long time. But when abused, driven improperly, or under certain circumstances, the life of the clutch can be drastically reduced.
V8 Thermostat (5-7 years / 50-60k miles)
The V8 engine’s thermostat has something of a design flaw. There’s a rubber gasket molded onto it. The gasket will eventually fail and, once it does, the entire thermostat assembly needs to be replaced. I recommend replacing the thermostat at the same time as the 5-year coolant flush regardless of whether or not the gasket has failed.
Resale and service stamps
Service history is an important factor in the resale value of a car. For some buyers, that means seeing a dealership stamp in the owners manual for each year, or maintenance records showing what was done and when.
If you do your own maintenance, keep a detailed log book. Keep track of when you do your service, and exactly what you did. Include the date, odometer reading, service task performed, and any relevant information about each task. For example, for an oil change you should list the brand, type, and weight (e.g., Motul X-Power 8100 10w60) of the oil used, the brand of filter (such as, “OEM”), etc.