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Cleaning mass air flow sensor?

Is there any value in cleaning a mass air flow sensor using a MAF cleaner ?


Only if you get a Check Engine light indicating a problem with the MAF sensor.


The MAF works with a small diameter wire that gets heated up with electricity, sort of like a toaster. As air moves past that wire, it cools down. The more air flow, the more it cools down, and the engine computer uses that cooling effect as a measure of the airflow into the engine. If the wire gets coated with dirt and soot, it is like the wire is wearing a coat, and that can fool the computer into thinking the airflow is less than it actually is. Like if you have a coat on, it doesn’t feel as cold when the wind is blowing, right?

Tester is correct, cleaning a MAF isn’t a routine maintenance thing. It’s only done when the MAF is suspected of being faulty. They are temperamental gadgets and cleaning a good one improperly could do the opposite of what you want, cause it to fail.

I think the MAF cleaner was made for the part, I want to clean the MAF, I buy the MAF cleaner (and I did), I want to clean the throttle body I buy the throttle body cleaner, I want to clean the brakes, I buy brake cleaner, though I might use it as starting fluid, I want to clean a carb I use carb cleaner, I want to clean the leather, I use leather cleaner, I use scrubbing bubbles on a lot of stuff, but prefer to use the cleaner made for the application. Not sure about maf sensor but some throttle bodies have a protective coating that will be compromised by the wrong use of fluids, spend the $6 and get the stuff recommended.

An askew reading from a dirty wire on the MAF will not necessarily turn on the MIL.

I took out my MAF sensor and looked at it.

It looked quite clean.

Which makes sense since air has already been thru the air filter.

Shame on Scotty.

Do you think he works for CRC ? :slight_smile:

I was wondering that same thing. How come the wires get dirty since the air is filtered? I’m wondering if the “dirt” is actually paper debris that sloughs off the air cleaner element itself. Sort of like toilet papering a tree, in slow motion.

Simple George.

No air filter is 100% efficient.



It makes me wonder if Scotty was not using an air filter.

I can see that. I let my engine air filter go too long between changes on my carb’d truck, and the result was the carb’s air bleed ports got plugged up and all sorts of drivability problems ensued.