Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Mass Airflow Sensor

a mass airflow sensor

A mass airflow sensor, or MAF for short, is found almost exclusively on fuel injected engines. A MAF is an electronic device that runs between your vehicle’s airbox and intake manifold. It measures the amount of air that passes through it, and sends this information to the engine’s computer, or ECU. The ECU takes this information and combines it with air intake temperature data to help determine the proper amount of fuel necessary for an optimal combustion. If your vehicle’s MAF sensor is failing, you will notice rough idling and the vehicle running rich.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the bad MAF sensor

Materials Needed

MAF sensor with electrical connector

Step 1: Disconnect the electrical connector from the mass air flow sensor. Squeeze the tab on the harness side of the electrical connector while firmly pulling on the connector.

Keep in mind, the older the vehicle, the more stubborn these connectors can be.

Remember, do not pull on the wires, only the connector itself. It helps to use gloves with a rubberized coating if your hands are slipping off the connector.

MAF sensor disconnected

Step 2: Disconnect the mass air flow sensor. Use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp or screws on each side of the MAF that secure it to the intake pipe and air filter. Once the clamps are removed, you should be able to pull the MAF right out.

  • Tip: There are many different ways a MAF sensor is secured. Some have screws that hold it to an adapter plate which attaches directly to the airbox. Some have clamps that hold the sensor in-line of the intake pipe. When you obtain your replacement MAF sensor, note the type of connections it uses and make sure to have the appropriate tools to disconnect and reconnect the sensor to the airbox and intake pipe.

maf sensor reconnected

Step 3: Connect the new mass airflow sensor. The sensor slides into the intake and then is clamped on.

On the airbox side, it may reconnect with bolts or it may be the same as the intake side, depending on your particular vehicle.

Make sure all the clamps and screws are snug, but do not overtighten them as the sensor is plastic and can break if handled too roughly.

  • Warning: Use extra care to not touch the element of the sensor on the inside of the MAF. The element will be exposed when the sensor is removed and it is very delicate.

Step 4: Reconnect the electrical connector. Reconnect the electrical connector to the new mass airflow sensor by sliding the female side of the connector over the male side that is attached to the sensor. Press firmly until you hear a click that indicates the connector is seated all the way and locked into position.

At this point, double check all your work to make sure you haven’t left anything loose and the job is complete.

If this job seems like more than you are willing to attempt, a qualified technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to replace the mass airflow sensor for you.

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

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: My turbo diesel Triton, btwn 70kms and 80kms starts kicking. At idle sounds and feels like its going to stall.

Hey there, thank you for asking about your Mitsubishi. This is a common issue with many cars when a part called the mass airflow sensor begins to fail. This is a unit that monitors the air intake as it is...

Q: Car hesitates when I put my foot into it.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to help. This is a common symptom of a failing mass air flow sensor or throttle position sensor. A mass air flow sensor is a unit that monitors the air flow...

Q: Transmission does not give out much power while accelerating.

It sounds like you may have a misfire. What are the codes that you are getting? It could be caused by ignition components or a faulty sensor like the mass air flow or throttle position sensor. Reading the codes should...