How to Replace a Mass Airflow Sensor

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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.


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Recent Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

178

Rating Summary
169
4
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0
5
169
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5

Gregory

29 years of experience
240 reviews
Gregory
29 years of experience
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 - Mass Airflow Sensor - Littleton, Colorado
Gregory was so friendly and efficient and knowledgeable. I would request him if ever in need of service again.
Lexus RX300 - Mass Airflow Sensor - Denver, Colorado
Will definitely ask for him to perform any future work that will be needed. He is professional, engaging and ready to explain and/or answer any questions. He truly enjoys his work and is knowledgeable in what he does. Thank you, Gregory Hall

Matthew

31 years of experience
666 reviews
Matthew
31 years of experience
BMW 525i - Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement - Newport News, Virginia
I was taken aback that there are still mechanics like Matt who exemplified great customer service and displays a passion for what he does. Matt was on time,very friendly, professional and informative. I will highly recommend Matt to my friends and colleagues, Thank you again Matt you made this unpleasant experience for me very pleasant.
Cadillac Escalade EXT - Mass Airflow Sensor - Newport News, Virginia
Awesome technician. Technician was punctual, very knowledgeable, went above and beyond to ensure the repairs were completed.

Peter

41 years of experience
1259 reviews
Peter
41 years of experience
Nissan Quest - Mass Airflow Sensor - Anthem, Arizona
He was on time for our appointment and had it taken care of within the hour. Quality and great communication throughout the process. Thank You Peter!!!
Chevrolet Suburban 1500 - Mass Airflow Sensor - Goodyear, Arizona
Professional, Courteous and arrived on time and saved 50% of a quote from a garage. Why would you ever go back to a regular mechanic?

Christopher

15 years of experience
53 reviews
Christopher
15 years of experience
Lexus LS430 - Mass Airflow Sensor - Douglasville, Georgia
Chris was very professional and knowledgeable would recommend him highly and plan on using him for our next job.

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