Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Often Does the Mass Air Flow Sensor Need to Be Replaced?

MAF sensor replacement

The mass air flow sensor is quite a complex little component of multiport fuel injection systems with a critical role in the performance of your engine. Not only does it work hard, but it’s rather fragile due to its design. Because of this fact, it may need to be replaced at some point.

The design and function of the mass air flow sensor

To understand the reason for replacement, you need to know how this mass air flow (MAF) sensor works. The MAF features a sensing element, which tells how much air is flowing through. This element is made either of platinum wire and called a hot wire design or nickel foil grid with the tile of a hot film design. Both are delicate and may be damaged if you try to clean them. For this reason, it’s better to replace the sensor than to attempt to clean it and continue using it.

The MAF sensor measures the amount of air that comes into the system. It provides this information to the engine computer, allowing the system to adjust the amount of fuel needed to maintain the correct ratio.

Why an MAF sensor needs to be replaced

If the sensor gets dirty, it won’t be able to read the airflow. When the MAF sensor doesn’t work, the engine may idle roughly, hesitate, and have difficulty starting. It may even stall on you while driving, which is no fun.

The most common cause for the sensor to become dirty is an air filter that doesn’t get replaced when needed. When the air filter is clogged, it allows more dirt and debris to slip by and accumulate on the sensor. Routine maintenance and air filter replacement can extend the life of your MAF sensor and ensure it continues to work correctly. While the exact timing varies based on where and how much you drive, a good rule to follow is every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...


Related questions

Q: P0405 EGR Sensor A Circuit Low

Hello and thank you for your question. With having 200,000 miles on the engine, I recommend replacing the EGR and not just cleaning it. The plunger is probably has too much carbon build up making the EGR stick open when...

Q: The car has trouble starting - 2001 BMW 325i

If the mass air flow sensor and fuel pump have been verified as the cause or causes for the hard starting, then they should be replaced. When the vehicle is turned off, fuel pressure should be maintained in the fuel...

Q: Exhaust gas sensors replaced on recurring basis

Hello there. This is a common problem with the Ford Econoline. There are a few things that can lead to the sensors going bad, but the most likely is excessive exhaust heat. When the exhaust gets above a certain temperature...