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How-to: Clean MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor)

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  • How-to: Clean MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor)

    - remove the MAF from the car
    - spray some electrical contact cleaner or non-chlorinated brake cleaner (something that leaves NO residue) through the sampling tube over the wires.

    The MAF should be clean inside. If not, you have a leak that is letting air in that isn't being filtered. The wires may or may not look slightly off color. They can become oxidized over time, which can affect readings. Excess oil from a K&N or other open element filter that has been over-oiled can foul the wires, as well.

    - reinstall MAF
    2005 GTO IBM - 341hp/341tq
    - Volant intake, JBA catless midpipes, H-pipe, GMM ripshifter, BMR skidplate, HIDs, SAP bumper & grilles, CV8-R taillights

    Local CEGers: If you need detailing PM me

  • #2
    And you don't have to remove the MAF housing (metal cylinder) from the top housing of the air filter. Just unclip the top air filter housing and unscrew the worm clamp from the accordian tube side and spray through the top air filter housing.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by LauraSVT View Post
      FWIW -- if you're only getting this symptom when you put your boot deep into the throttle, you may have a mass air flow sensor (MAF) concern. This will not kick a check engine light.

      Try squeezing the accelerator gently -- you may able to get the car to accelerate slowly, progressively without hesitation. Now nail the throttle (you can do all of this, say, around 35-40 mph in 3rd gear) -- if the car bucks now, you're probably looking at a MAF failure.

      All is not lost, though. Grab a can of $10 mass air sensor cleaner at the auto parts store, pull the air filter out, and remove the entire MAF housing. Spray a good solid snort full of the cleaner at the MAF wire (don't be shy), being very careful not to let anything else touch it. Let it dry, throw it back in, button up the filter, and fire the car up (it may stumble a touch, but will start and idle smoothly). Take 'er for a rip -- see if this cures your problem.

      Occasionally, the wire gets gummed up -- thus, the computer can't tell how much air is entering through the filter, and it can't meter the right amount of fuel. Often, the failure is on the starvation side -- too little, not too much fuel, hence the buck, or blip, or spot where nothing happens under throttle. The MAF is constantly reporting back to the computer, so you should not have to bother with resetting -- the table should update just fine in open loop strategy.

      Hope this cures it -- take care.
      If you could perhaps provide a visual of the MAF wire that would be awesome too. I learn by visuals lol

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jack_Flash View Post
        If you could perhaps provide a visual of the MAF wire that would be awesome too. I learn by visuals lol
        Ok, here it is -- no sweat.

        This is actually out of a Mustang, but since its from the Motorcraft family, it looks no different, fundamentally. The harness plugs in on top, and the flange facing you in the picture bolts in between the throttle body and the air filter via those four holes visible here. When cleaning the MAF, focus on the marked section (A) -- the wire is little, but important. As mentioned before, be sure not to touch it. Once you've let the cleaner evaporate, bolt everything back together, plug the MAF harness back in, fire it up, and you're ready to go. Obvious tip -- make sure that the MAF is facing the right way when you put it back in -- the harness should plug in on the side closest to the front of the car. Direction of air flow is marked on the housing if any questions arise.
        2000 Tropic Green Contour SVT
        1994 Opal Frost Taurus SHO -- SOLD!

        "Have you ever seen a spleen that large?"
        "No -- no -- not since breakfast."

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        • #5
          I've always unbolted the sensor from the housing and used acetone on the wires. Either way works fine.
          ~Jeff~

          1998 Contour SVT #4953 - Stock, and in need of restoration.
          1998 Contour SVT #0036 - Full 3.0 Swap - Few bolt-ons *sold*
          2011 Taurus SHO - 3.5L TT - 13.8@102 Stock

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          • #6
            hmm my maf sensor doesnt look anything like that i wander if mine is aftermarket mine has nothing going through the middle like that mine has a little tube in the inside of that big tube on one side and has two little wires in it
            2000 contour svt mtx

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            • #7
              Originally posted by robertseber View Post
              hmm my maf sensor doesnt look anything like that i wander if mine is aftermarket mine has nothing going through the middle like that mine has a little tube in the inside of that big tube on one side and has two little wires in it
              It is most likey a pro-m air meter. Or someone removed the bar on their own.

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              • #8
                you are correct its a 75 mm pro m and i didnt realize that until after i posted thanks for the response
                2000 contour svt mtx

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                • #9
                  The actual sensor is attached to the side of the housing with two T20 "security" Torx screws. A regular Torx bit won't work - it doesn't have the little hole in it. The "wires" you see inside the housing are just a screen to even-out the air flow. To clean the sensor, you must remove it and spray it liberally with non-residue cleaner.
                  c
                  Tropic/Emerald Green '99 CSVT
                  95 Custom Harley
                  Keeping the rubber side down.

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