Is there any way to clean a mass air filter? Is there any way to buy one for less than $160? Are they easy to install for an ameteur? What would happen if you just left the “check engine light” on for this problem and kept driving? Thanks much.
I assume you mean mass airflow sensor. They are easy to clean, you can buy MAF sensor cleaner in a can and use that, but cleaning will not always fix them. The cost depends on your vehicle, likely less expensive if you avoid the dealer. They are very easy to remove and replace. Driving with a faulty MAF could eventually damage other components and decrease efficiency.
Why do you know it needs cleaning and how many miles on the car? More info = better answers.
It seems apparent that your check engine light came on and that the code points in the direction of the MAF sensor - as corrected above the Mass Airflow Sensor.
But those codes don’t necessarily indicate that the problem is in that part.
If you actually post the code, people her can tell you how to go about actually checking some things out to find out if the problem really is the sensor or not. E.g. a code referring to the MAF could get triggered by a wiring problem rather than a sensor problem - that is a lot cheaper.
These codes are in the format of a letter followed by 4 numbers (Pxxxx) - post the code(s).
You can try a used one from a junk yard but they are a very pricey part. Mine were $300. I’ve had bad MAFS that ranged from just running lean, to not hardly being able to get around the block. If you are having trouble best to replace it.
I’d like to add that mass airflow sensors (MAF sensors) are in the air inflow, normally in the air filter box and protected by the filter, and the only things that can cause them to need cleaning is is some contaminant is introduced into the instream. Unless you have a cold air intake setup with an oiled filter or perhsps a defective turbocharger, it’s far more likely IMHO that the MAF has simply failed. Many of them are “hot wire” sensors that measure the air inflow by measuring the amount of current being drawn to keep the “hot wire” hot. They can fail.
With more detail we can perhaps make more specific recommendations.