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Thread: Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaning

  1. #1
    Original Member Toolbox's Avatar
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    Nov 2000
    Buffalo, NY (Clarence) 14031-2260

    Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaning

    Good read from the Explorer4x4 BB.

    e-mail from about Ford MAF


    I got this e-mail from (snap on tools) thought everyone would like it.

    Tech Tip: Clean the MAF

    Application: 1990-1999 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Ford Truck with Mass-Air-Flow Sensor (MAF)

    Symptoms: Lacks power, rough idle, surge, hesitation, ping/knock, MIL on with one or more of the following codes. OBD-I: 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189. OBD-II: P0171, P0172, P0174, P0175, P1130, P1131, P1132, P1150, P1151, P1152.

    Theory: The MAF sensor uses very thin wires or filaments in the air-stream to "read" the amount of air entering the engine. If the PCM is being given an incorrect air flow reading, it won't be able to meter the correct amount of fuel. The PCM will "learn" of the incorrect fuel metering by the O2 sensor signals and try to compensate, but will eventually reach a point where drivability problems arise. Even on properly maintained vehicles, a coating will build up on the filaments and insulate them from the air passing by and cause an incorrect reading. Poor maintenance and paper "fuzz" from cheap air filters will cause the build up to occur sooner.

    The Test: The quickest thing to do is hook up a scanner and watch MAF data. As a general rule, if the MAF voltage is over 1.1v at idle and/or the long-term-fuel-trim (LONGFT) is negative 12% or more, the MAF is in need of service.

    The Fix: Remove the actual sensing part of the MAF from its housing and clean the filaments. To do this, unplug it and remove the tamper-proof-Torx screws. Carefully pull the sensor out. You will now be able to see the filaments. Even if they look shiny to the naked eye, there can still be a build-up on them. The safest way to clean them is Denatured-Alcohol and a swab. Never soak the sensor or spray anything directly on it. Wet the swab with the alcohol and gently rub the filaments on all exposed sides. After installing the MAF, disconnect the negative battery cable for 10 minutes minimum to clear the PCM's memory. Reconnect battery and test drive to re-learn PCM and to make sure the problems are gone.
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  2. #2
    Member Matt8888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Cranberry Twp. PA
    A couple other notes.
    Ford recomends using window cleaner and air only...Do not touch the filaments with anything . Spray the Filaments with Window cleaner and lightly blow into the MAF with a regulated air supply.
    Also a major cause of contamination comes from using K&N type oiled filters.The oil being pulled from the filter aids in the collection of dirt on the filaments.
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