How To Clean Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor and When (5 Steps)

How To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor

A mass air flow sensor also called a MAF sensor is an electronic sensor that measures the amount of air entering the engine. It is located between the intake manifold and the air cleaner assembly.

The job of the mass airflow sensor is to take air from the air filter of the vehicle and measure it and give the stats to the ECU, so it allows the right amount of fuel into the combustion chamber.

Over time, the sensor gets coated with debris and particles, which reduces the ability to produce proper signals. So, it is important to clean it properly to have a good working MAF sensor.

In this powerful guide, we will discuss how to clean mass air flow sensors with five quick steps and when to clean mass air flow sensors only in two minutes.

Related Post: Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF): How It Works & Functions

How To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor

Mass Air Flow Sensor With Dust Cleaner
Mass Air Flow Sensor With Dust Cleaner

A large amount of air passes through the mass airflow sensor, it is obvious that despite the air passing through the air filter there is still some dirt and debris in the air. When this air passes through the mass airflow sensor, it deposits dirt and debris to the insides of the mass airflow sensors.

This affects the overall performance of the mass airflow sensor, which in turn affects the amount of fuel sent by the fuel injector into the combustion chamber making the whole combustion process inefficient and bad mileage.

There are five basic steps involved in cleaning the mass airflow sensor of your vehicle. The steps are as follows:

Related Post: How To Test Mass AirFlow (MAF) Sensor With/Without Multimeter

5 Quick Steps To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor

1. Locate The Mass Air Flow Sensor:

Locating The MAF Sensor
Locating The MAF Sensor

Ensure that your engine is turned off and cooled to the normal temperature. Using the car’s owner’s manual or with the help of an expert, you should first locate the mass airflow sensor of the car.

The MAF sensor is placed on the intake plenum in a tube after the air cleaner assembly.

2. Unplug The Electrical Connector Of The Sensor:

Mass Air Flow Sensor
Mass Air Flow Sensor

Once you have found the mass airflow sensor in the vehicle you need to unplug it from the vehicle’s electrical system. Gently unplug the sensor’s connector to disconnect the electrical system.

Related Post: The Risks Of Driving With Mass Air Flow Sensor Unplugged

3. Remove The MAF Sensor:

Removing The Mass Air Flow Sensor
Removing The Mass Air Flow Sensor

Once the mass airflow sensor of the vehicle is detached from the vehicle’s electronic system, you would have to loosen it up off all the things (brackets and clamps) that are keeping the mass airflow sensor in its place.

Remove all the screws with the screwdriver. Usually, there are three screws fitted on the sensor. Now you need to get the assembly away from the tubing carefully.

Related Post: How To Replace Mass Air Flow Sensor

4. Clean The Mass Air Flow Sensor:

Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner Can
Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner Can

Clean the sensor with the mass air flow sensor Cleaner Can, around ten to fifteen blasts, and towels. Clean it nicely from the inside. Also clean all the connector parts such as terminals, connectors, and also its housing.

Related Post: 7 Warning Signs Of A Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor

5. Putting The Sensor Back Again:

Mass Air Flow Sensor On Its Location
Mass Air Flow Sensor On Its Location

After you have cleaned the sensor thoroughly, wait for it to dry. Once it has dried up, place it into the clamps and get the connections back up carefully.

Related Post: How To Trick A Mass Air Flow Sensor

When To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor

When To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
When To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor

It is important to know when you should clean your mass airflow sensor. There is no particular time after which you should clean your mass airflow sensor, but it is safe to clean the sensor after six months or each time while getting your oil changed.

It is quite a simple job so you can also incorporate it into your routine car maintenance. If your car’s check engine light comes on and shows a code related to the mass airflow sensor, you should immediately consult your vehicle technician and have your vehicle’s mass airflow sensor checked and cleaned.

Related Post: Top 6 Best Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does cleaning a mass airflow sensor work?

The answer to this question is quite complex and nuanced. In short, yes, cleaning a mass airflow sensor can work, but it really depends on the situation. If the sensor is simply dirty, then cleaning it may be all that is needed to fix the problem. However, if the sensor is damaged or malfunctioning, then cleaning it will not be enough to fix the issue. In those cases, it is best to replace the sensor entirely.

How often should a MAF sensor be cleaned?

A MAF sensor should be cleaned every few months to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris. A MAF sensor should be cleaned every time tuning is done on the car. This ensures that the sensor is free of debris and able to accurately measure air flow. Over time, the build-up of these substances can cause the MAF sensor to become less accurate, which can lead to engine performance problems.


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