Really? My MAF?

On my 2001 Chevy Impala 3800 Series with about 160K, I have had the check engine light on for almost a year now, knowing full-well that it is a P0420 Code. Recently though the car has been sputtering from time to time, whether really punching on the gas, or even in cruize control on the Freeway.

Since this has happened, I found the new code, P0102, on top of the P0420 (and P0420 Pending) with my handheld over-the-counter PocketScan.

The gracious people at my local AutoZone and Advanced Auto, with thier warm hearts, open minds, and great care for customer well-being either “DON"T DO CODE-CHECKING!!” or they have a PocketScan that costs about $20 more than the one I have, so it doesn’t really tell me much more than the Master Air Flow Sensor is bad.

The nicest customer service guy offered me a New $150 MAF, or a $6 bottle of what seems to be Aftermarket Windex to clean the MAF out with.

Also, for more insight, the sputtering problem has seemed to be less frequent since the cold temps of winter have hit in the past few weeks, Michigan really is great.

Any other suggestions?

The DTC trouble, such as P0102, and P0420, DON’T say that a component is bad. No, they say that the voltage values (or, frequencies) aren’t of an acceptable VALUE. This little distinction makes a world of difference in what actions should be taken.

Purchase an aerosol can of MAF sensor cleaner and clean the wires inside the MAF sensor. Erase the codes and see if the CEL comes back on.


I will refrain from getting lumped into “less than helpful but gracious people,with warm hearts”.

Really you can’t come here bashing others that have tried to help you and expect others to want to open up and offer their help.

I never help any OP that starts their post off with unfounded deraguratory comments about others, it’s my choice.

I fully understand, probably not all of the employees are like that. But, no matter what the line of work is, when an employee is hired to represent an enterprise on the “front line” with the customer, the experience places the label on the whole business - whether it may be good or bad.

It was just displeasing to see another entity wearing the mask of lagging customer service - the same we are all experiencing as customers in banks, supermarkets, and in many other places. That’s why I’d rather pay the higher price to go to the local shop where you are looked at as a person and not a number.

Thank you to all who have given input.

You would really have been unset if the clerk had made the mistake that so many people are making with DTC P0420 (and ALL DTCs) and expressed their erroneous layman’s opinion. They will opine that a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) means a component (sensor or valve) is bad and that the fix is to replace the component. DTCs DO NOT mean this. This opinion is ignorant, and wrong.
The DTCs inform you that the VOLTAGE VALUES in the electrical circuitry of that named component (AND, includes that named component) are not acceptable. This distinction is very different from the ASSUMED meaning. And, it’s a very expensive assumption, in time and money.
The only course of action lies in diagnostics using available information from the Web and the repair manuals.

It’s Mass Air Flow, not master air flow. It’s a sensor that measure the total mass (not volume) of air flowing into the engine.

your maf performance should be checked wiht a scan tool but i would try cleaning it with a approved maf cleaner only such as crc also your po420 code is a catalyst efficiency code so perform the standard catalytic converter tests also hope this helps you