What Does the Mass Airflow Sensor Do?

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How often does the mass airflow sensor need to be replaced?

Mass airflow sensors (MAF) have no expiration date. They are not included on the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance list of things to replace based on mileage, like spark plugs or filters. They can remain in service indefinitely as long as they continue to function correctly.

However, MAF sensors are critical to engine performance, good gas mileage, and low emissions. They are also fairly fragile and sensitive to contamination. A bit of basic preventative maintenance awareness can help an MAF stay alive and healthy as long as possible. Since the function of an MAF is to measure all the air flowing into the engine, they have a LOT of air flowing through them. Try to imagine 9,000-10,000 gallons of air flowing through your engine for every 1 gallon of gas burned! That much air carries a lot of fine dust and particulates of all types. It is the job of the air filter to keep that all that junk off of the MAF, as well as out of your engine. So replace the air filter when recommended, keep the inside of the air filter box very clean, and be sure the ducts between the air filter box and the throttle body are all securely clamped and airtight.

Another simple maintenance item that is commonly neglected can impact the cleanliness of the MAF, the PCV valve. It should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations based on mileage. If the PCV valve becomes restricted, it can cause crankcase vapors to back up through the engine’s breather system and leave oily deposits on the MAF. If the MAF gets dirty, it becomes less accurate and a loss of performance will usually be noticed. A trouble code will get logged in the computer, and the Check Engine Light will illuminate.

Many times, MAFs are removed, cleaned with a spray cleaner, and reinstalled. This is not a permanent fix. For a more long-lasting repair, have the MAF replaced.


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Nazareth

26 years of experience
110 reviews
Nazareth
26 years of experience
Mazda 3 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Los Angeles, California
Nazareth provides excellent service. He is very friendly, flexible and proactive, I can only recommend booking him.
Mazda 3 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Glendale, California
Nazareth was great to work with. I would highly recommend him for future vehicle work. He was able to get the job done quickly and in a professional manner.

Michael

7 years of experience
16 reviews
Michael
7 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Scottsdale, Arizona
Michael is awesome! Extremely knowledgeable, competent, and has strong integrity. He was able to help me understand why I didn’t need certain fixes that the dealership recommended (which ended up saving me almost a thousand dollars). He’s very personable, charismatic, and skilled at what he does. I can confidently say that the “YourMechanic” website is beyond blessed to have this man working with them.
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chandler, Arizona
Very professional and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend Michael to anyone looking for car maintenance. Great service! Thank you.

Jason

31 years of experience
167 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Fiat 500L - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - San Jose, California
Unbelievably efficient and knowledgeable. Jason just comes and gets it done. I so appreciate his commitment to Excellence as evidenced by his refusal to use the wrong oil for my oil change, even though it meant him coming out another day. Just had my brakes done in less than an hour. So happy I found this and so happy that Jason's my mechanic. I highly recommend him. Meghan in San Jose
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

Pardeep

20 years of experience
655 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Thank you for helping to problem solve and being professional. I will likely be seeing you again soon.
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.

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