This short video shows you all you need to know about cleaning your vehicle’s MAF sensor and by the end of the video, you’ll know how to locate your MAF sensor, how to access it, and how to clean it. You’ll find an explanation of your MAF sensor below together with tools and supplies you’ll need to clean it like a pro.
What is a MAF Sensor?
A MAF or Mass Air Flow sensor measures the volume of air (oxygen) and its temperature as it enters the intake manifold system. The PCM (powertrain control module) relies on this information in order to balance air-fuel ratios (AFR) and to make ignition timing adjustments.
So as you can imagine your MAF is important kit. An incorrect reading from your MAF sensor may cause an engine to run lean (not enough gas) or rich (too much gas). Both conditions are bad for your engine, your pocket, and the environment.
Where is MAF Located?
Your MAF or is located inside the intake pipework after the air filter (upstream) and before the air enters the throttle body.
Why Does A MAF Need To Be Cleaned?
As the sensor lives upstream of the air filter you would imagine the air clean and it is, but small particles of oil and gas are present in the pipework which obviously makes contact with the sensor. The MAF is a hot wire sensor and is capable of burning off contaminates, but sometimes it requires a little help.
How Does A MAF Work?
MAF sensors employ a heating element or hot wire. As airflow passes over the element, it cools it. The sensor, therefore, draws additional amps to reheat the element, it’s this information the PCM uses to detect the volume of air entering the engine.
Symptoms Of A Dirty MAF Sensor
The symptoms vary by how contaminated it is, but here’s a snapshot, you’ll get the idea.
- No start
- Hard starting
- Smell of raw gas
- Vehicle lask power
- Engine ligt on
- Engine vibration
- Erratic idle
- MAF fault codes set P0100, P0101, P0102, P0103, P0104
- Cylinder misfire codes
- Lean codes
Tool & Parts Needed
This is a really simple task and as you see from the video, once you accessing is about as tough as it gets. Many air boxes are toolless access and so you’ll likely only need MAF sensor cleaner, I’ve linked one of my favorites below. Picture links to Amazon.com.
If cleaning doesn’t help consider swapping it out. Check out the Amazon MAF sensors page link below.Amazon MAF Sensors
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.