How to Replace 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.


Next Step

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Recent Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(269)

Rating Summary
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2
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9
254
4
2
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9

Breck

20 years of experience
681 reviews
Breck
20 years of experience
Mazda 3 L4-2.0L - Mass Airflow Sensor - Houston, Texas
This is my third appointment with Breck. He showed up over 30 minutes early and performed the scheduled service, replacing a sensor on my car and cleaning my engine. He test drove my car to make sure the issue was fixed and answered any questions I had. I will continue to book Breck for future service appointments whenever I can.
Mazda 3 - Mass Airflow Sensor - Houston, Texas
Breck was able to replace a worn belt on my vehicle, and drove out to find another sensor needed for the repairs during the service appointment when he discovered he was sent the incorrect item for my car. I will continue to book Breck for future service appointments.

Keith

18 years of experience
370 reviews
Keith
18 years of experience
Nissan Altima L4-2.5L - Mass Airflow Sensor - Lakeland, Florida
Keith was very good very knowledgeable and I like them a lot and the future if anything else happens to my car I will be asking for him personally I would like him to only be the one that works on my car thank you have a great day very good mechanic

Raymond

37 years of experience
402 reviews
Raymond
37 years of experience
Nissan Sentra L4-2.0L - Mass Airflow Sensor - Las Vegas, Nevada
I cannot find the words to express how thankful I am for people like Raymond(& MyMechanic) He was every consumers dream: Great at his job, honest, on time(even early!) finished the job in shorter time than approximated and friendly! We were incredibly anxious about ALL those things because our experiences have been disappointing and caused us to be untrusting. It's rare to get our needs met! Also, MyMechanic offered us a payment plan we could afford, therefore, making the service possible. We WILL be back! And, God-willing. Raymond will be our mechanic:)

Aurelio

36 years of experience
73 reviews
Aurelio
36 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Prix V8-5.3L - Mass Airflow Sensor - New Braunfels, Texas
I love working with Aurelio. He is concise, knowledgeable and extremely proficient. Not only will I recommend Your Mechanic, I'll recommend Aurelio to complete the task. Wonderful, courteous and professional man! 

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