About sensor cleaning

Hi guys. I would like to know which of all the existing sensors can be cleaned in order to prolong their useful life; Either with some solvent or ultrasonic bath. Thanks.

Just replace it (or them). They are not expensive.

The MAF is about all that can be effectively cleaned.

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Yeah, I’ll buy it if it’s damaged, but if there’s a chance to prolong its life, then I can save some money.

My neighbors car was having problems with its O2 sensor. I cleaned in the ultra sonic machine and lasted 2 more years. Plenty of time to save the $250 for the new one.

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I dunno, my time is too valuable for that stuff. I’d put the $250 on a credit card and pay for it later.

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You can clean MAF sensors . . . but that’s usually only done as part of the diagnosis, to confirm you need to replace it

Cleaning oxygen sensors . . . not something I would spend my time doing

There might very well be a reason why they’re contaminated, and I’d be looking into the root cause

But cleaning sensors to prolong their useful life . . . that’s not a recommended practice


Cleaning a bad O2 sensor will have little effect and cleaning a good one will have no effect at all.

I’ve seen videos of crankshaft sensors coated with metal debris ( they are magnetic) and cleaning supposedly helped.
………but I guess if you have metal shavings on the crankshaft sensor you have bigger problems than a weak sensor.

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About the only car part that I recall I’ve had any luck cleaning to get working – in a fashion – was a pcv valve.


Decided to clean my crankshaft and camshaft sensor after your comment and I can say that Idle and acceleration as improved.

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I’d say that is a placebo effect but if it makes you happy, go for it.


On some vehicles, sometimes, cleaning an ABS wheel speed sensor can cure a problem.

I suppose cleaning a crankshaft sensor could have some effect. Conductive particles, esp if ferromagnetic, on the sensor surface could effect the E/M field impinged on the sensor from the spinning part, and modify the crank signal as observed by the computer. Years ago my roof mounted tv antenna got coated with chimney soot, resulting in a degraded tv signal at my set. Besides diminishing the signal strength, the soot also caused more e/m interference in the picture when the neighbor was operating his CB set.

Not suggesting to rush out and clean the crank sensor; clean the CV boots if you want to clean something.

I enjoy reading about this poster’s theories though :wink: That’s the scientific method at work.

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