Mass airflow (MAF) sensor balances airflow to support acceleration and gas consumption flow inside the vehicle’s engine. When it gets dirty, your vehicle will perform worse, and other parts will get harmed. When it comes to MAF problems, you may think it’s time to change mass air flow sensors. Instead of paying $300 for a new MAF, we will guide you on how to clean mass air flow sensor to save your budget and protect the vehicle.
Symptoms You Need To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
Many signs tell you that your mass airflow is in bad condition and needs cleaning. Here are some:
- Hard to start: A heavy and time-consuming start is the very first symptom of a bad MAF.
- Fuel-consuming: Dust will obstruct the engine’s airflow, leading to an imbalance between air and fuel. Also, the acceleration doesn’t have enough oxygen to ignite.
- Black exhaust: Due to the lack of air, carbon dioxide is born more, omitting black smoke when the engine runs.
- Hard to accelerate: Oxygen plays an important role in igniting acceleration. Hence, when it’s hard to rev the engine, or there is a delay in accelerating, it’s due to the lack of air.
- Rough idle: Many vehicles own an idle mode to stop the engine when it doesn’t move for a particular period. When the air is poor, the fuel finds it difficult to travel properly to other parts. The starvation of fuel leads to rough idle.
Tools To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
You have to assemble and install the part, so a 4-in-1 screwdriver is in need. Another indispensable tool is a MAF spray cleaner with the main ingredient, acetone – a strong detergent for a vehicle’s engine. Also, a small and long straw will support you in cleaning the MAF sensor specifically and detailedly.
You may need eyeglasses, gloves, and a face mask to protect yourself. If you are ready, let’s move to the main part of this article.
How To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
Step 1: Find The MAF Sensor
The very first way to clean a mass air flow sensor is to stop the engine beforehand. If it’s running or the key is plucked, you may damage other parts when removing and cleaning MAF.
To find the MAF sensor, you must find the air intake system, usually situated under the hood. However, each vehicle is built differently. You should visit the brand’s official website or check professional forums to find the guidelines.
Now, it’s time for your 4-in-1 screwdriver to work and remove the air filter, and you will find the vehicle’s MAF sensor. You can remove this part to clean it easier, but it’s optional. If you take it apart, you should put it on a tower.
Step 2: Clean With The MAF Spray Cleaners
You have to clean the air filter and inside the MAF. You must remove dust, spray the cleanser, and leave it aside for the air filter.
For the MAF, let’s spray 10 – 15 quick squirts of the cleaners on the sensor and the connections, then leave it dry naturally. It would be best if you did not let the straw contact the hot wire of the MAF sensor. It’s a good idea to keep a 5-inch distance. Please take note: It’s not allowed to scrub the mass air flow sensor because it will damage your part.
Step 3: Reinstall All The Parts
It takes about 5 – 10 minutes for the MAF spray to dissipate. When it is dry completely, reinstall the air filter and other parts if you have taken them apart. Then, you need to run the engine to heat up and burn other chemicals inside the vehicle. They are friendly to your car, so do not worry.
When Do You Need To Change Mass Air Flow Sensors ?
Normally, the OEM part can work for 10 years on average, equivalent to 80,000 to 150,000 miles. If you do proper vehicle maintenance, it can last longer. However, it can vary due to the manufacturer, your usage, fuel, etc.
There is no recommendation on when you need to change mass air flow sensor. When it stops working or has a low performance but cleaning doesn’t have a positive effect, it’s time to replace the MAF sensor.
To determine whether or not to change your MAF sensor, you should take advice from an expert beforehand. He will offer you a suitable part for your vehicle.
Now you know how to clean mass air flow sensor properly to save $300. However, if it has symptoms showing you need to change the mass air flow sensor, never hesitate to replace it to protect your vehicle and your safety.
We will share more helpful information on the vehicle’s transformation and self-maintenance, so keep your eyes on us!