The importance of servicing your Aston Martin, lock down or not.
by Kyle Fortune
It’s been a turbulent, upside down year for everybody, but now’s the perfect time to have Aston Martin serviced as lockdown lifts.
“It’s really important that keep up to date with your Aston Martin servicing,” explains John McGurk, McGurk Performance Cars. We all know that, right? But with the last twelve months most of use haven’t moved around much, and neither have our cars. As a result a good number have skipped one, or more, services, and that’s not detrimental not just to your Aston Martin’s running, but could also impact its value.
McGurk’s advice is as obvious as it is sensible, then, adding that the first thing you should do with your car if you’re getting it out is to get it serviced. That’s true even if your Aston Martin was serviced before you parked it up, for the peace of mind that nothing has perished, dried out or gone flat, be it tyres or batteries. Also, with cars like Aston Martins, a complete service history is essential, even if the last 12 months might have made that difficult.
“Covid has presented some unique circumstances this past year, but there’s no excuse not to get back on top of servicing as soon as you can,” says McGurk. He adds: “if you didn’t service your Aston Martin last year, you really need to do it now, especially if you’re planning to enjoy your Aston Martin as the weather gets better.”
Maintenance and consumable items on all cars will deteriorate, even when they’re not being used, McGurk explaining: “we’ve seen a number of cars come in with brake pads crumbling around the edges, that’s due to them sitting, cold, without having temperature put through them in use.” Replacing such parts is just part of the day-to-day running costs of an Aston Martin, as it is with any car, and scrimping, or leaving things until a later date is a false economy.
Tyres are always an issue, too, says McGurk, explaining: “it’s likely people didn’t anticipate laying up their cars for so long and they won’t have over-inflated the tyres to prevent them from going ‘square’.” The weight of a car sitting on the same part of the tyre results in flat spots if you’ve not taken the time to either rotate them periodically, as well as having them at higher pressure to help prevent damage. If you have had the foresight and done so, be sure to correct the pressures before driving, because your car will not just feel terrible, but be both unstable, unpredictable and increase the braking distance markedly.
“People think if their car sits still then it’ll be alright, but oil doesn’t last forever whether it’s used or not. We’ve had things this year like fuel pumps failing because the fuel goes off and damages the pumps. We’ve seen it on Vanquish, DB9s and DB7, so stale fuel is a problem,” says McGurk. Fuel starts to go off surprisingly quickly, particularly if it’s warm, and stale fuel can cause issues by gumming up or ‘varnishing’ the engine’s internals or corroding fuel lines, you’ll not be getting good spark, either, and that could damage your catalytic convertors and more besides.
“I always want fresh oil in my engine, I want fresh oil in my differential and fresh fuel in the tank, that’s the basics of any good running car,” explains McGurk. After the past 12 months in a world that’s been turned upside down you might ask ‘how much does it cost to service an Aston Martin?’ but the real question should be, how much could it cost you if you don’t, as prevention and proper care, is always better, and significantly less expensive, than cure.
“It’s even more important with these older cars that you keep on top of maintenance, here we use our knowledge from working on them what common problems they have and the way to help prevent and solve them,” says McGurk. In a year that’s seen us all breathing through masks McGurk’s quick to highlight just how important it is to change the air filters on your Aston Martin, with many servicing outlets not bothering. McGurk explains: “we suggest a new air filter every two years as an absolute minimum, it’s also crucial to take them out and inspect the boxes that house them annually, because they’re easily cracked and can fill up with rubbish. If your engine can’t breathe properly it’ll not give its best performance, and they’re not expensive, either.”
That’s especially true of DB9s, which ‘breathe heavily’ and the air filters often get contaminated with oil, while McGurk also suggests having your DB9’s catalytic convertor checked every year, too. Throttle bodies need cleaning every 12 months, too, McGurk’s technicians knowledgeable in every aspect of Aston Martin servicing, care and maintenance, and knowing particular aspects of care that are applicable to all the different models and at all different ages.
“It’s important to be thorough,” says McGurk, adding: “and to recognise the value of what you have and protect it, because these cars are becoming classics and the value associated with your Aston Martin and going forward that value will only strengthen if you’ve looked after it properly.”