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Mass Air Flow Sensor

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Most of today's vehicles are equipped with various sensors that communicate with the ECU (engine control unit) to help monitor every system inside the vehicle. One of these is the MAF or mass air flow sensor, a component that's designed to monitor the mass flow rate of air as it enters a fuel-injected engine. Once this part malfunctions, you'll most likely encounter a variety of emission and engine problems. To make sure this sensor always performs at its best, it needs regular cleaning. To keep your MAF sensor in top condition, here's what you need to do:

Tools you'll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Torx bit/Torx screwdriver
  • Clean rag

Step 1: Locate the mass air flow sensor.

This sensor is usually found between the air filter box and the intake hose that goes to the throttle body. If you're not sure about the exact location of the sensor, take a look at your vehicle manual.

Step 2: Remove the lid of the air filter box.

In most cases, you'll have to remove the filter box first to get access to the sensor. The filter box is typically attached into the assembly with clips or a screw lock, depending on the type of car you have. If it's attached by clips, you can simply pry them off using your hands. But if the box is attached with screws, use a screw driver to remove them. If the screws are basically wing nuts, you can easily unscrew them using your hands.

Step 3: Pull out the air filter.

Once the lid's screws or clips are removed, you can now pull out the air filter. If the filter is very dirty, you can just throw it away and install a new one since a replacement filter is very affordable.

Step 4: Clean the air filter box.

After removing the filter, you'll see that the inside is full of bugs, dust, dirt, bits and pieces of plants, and other debris that can get sucked in. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the debris.

Step 5: Remove the mass air flow sensor.

Using a screwdriver, disconnect the electrical wires that link the sensor to the air filter box. Simply push the connection lock with a screwdriver until it pops off the sensor. Then, loosen the hose clamp that connects the intake hose and the mass air flow sensor. Grab a torx bit and a torx bit screwdriver and use these to loosen the frame of the sensor from the air filter box. Set aside the screws, making sure you don't lose them. Grab the sensor and tug it a bit until it pops off, which means it's completely removed from the air intake hose.

Step 6: Clean the mass air flow sensor.

Spray some cleaner on the sensor until all surfaces are covered. Then, set aside the sensor by placing it on top of a clean rag. Let it completely dry, which could take around 20 minutes.

Step 7: Reinstall the sensor.

Once it's clean and dry, reattach the sensor by connecting it to the air intake hose. Then, reconnect it to the air filter box. Reinstall all the other parts you've removed.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Articles

  • Cleaning Your Car's Mass Air Flow Sensor

    Most of today\'s vehicles are equipped with various sensors that communicate with the ECU (engine control unit) to help monitor every system inside the vehicle. One of these is the MAF or mass air flow sensor, a component that\'s designed to monitor the mass flow rate of air as it enters a fuel-injected engine. Once this part malfunctions, you\'ll most likely encounter a variety of emission and engine problems. To make sure this sensor always performs at its best, it needs regular cleaning. To keep your MAF sensor in top condition, here\'s what you need to do:

    Tools you\'ll need:

    • Screwdriver
    • Torx bit/Torx screwdriver
    • Clean rag

    Step 1: Locate the mass air flow sensor.

    This sensor is usually found between the air filter box and the intake hose that goes to the throttle body. If you\'re not sure about the exact location of the sensor, take a look at your vehicle manual.

    Step 2: Remove the lid of the air filter box.

    In most cases, you\'ll have to remove the filter box first to get access to the sensor. The filter box is typically attached into the assembly with clips or a screw lock, depending on the type of car you have. If it\'s attached by clips, you can simply pry them off using your hands. But if the box is attached with screws, use a screw driver to remove them. If the screws are basically wing nuts, you can easily unscrew them using your hands.

    Step 3: Pull out the air filter.

    Once the lid\'s screws or clips are removed, you can now pull out the air filter. If the filter is very dirty, you can just throw it away and install a new one since a replacement filter is very affordable.

    Step 4: Clean the air filter box.

    After removing the filter, you\'ll see that the inside is full of bugs, dust, dirt, bits and pieces of plants, and other debris that can get sucked in. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the debris.

    Step 5: Remove the mass air flow sensor.

    Using a screwdriver, disconnect the electrical wires that link the sensor to the air filter box. Simply push the connection lock with a screwdriver until it pops off the sensor. Then, loosen the hose clamp that connects the intake hose and the mass air flow sensor. Grab a torx bit and a torx bit screwdriver and use these to loosen the frame of the sensor from the air filter box. Set aside the screws, making sure you don\'t lose them. Grab the sensor and tug it a bit until it pops off, which means it\'s completely removed from the air intake hose.

    Step 6: Clean the mass air flow sensor.

    Spray some cleaner on the sensor until all surfaces are covered. Then, set aside the sensor by placing it on top of a clean rag. Let it completely dry, which could take around 20 minutes.

    Step 7: Reinstall the sensor.

    Once it\'s clean and dry, reattach the sensor by connecting it to the air intake hose. Then, reconnect it to the air filter box. Reinstall all the other parts you\'ve removed.