Q: I recently had my throttle body cleaned and an induction service, now I have a bad mass air flow sensor?!

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In November I paid 900.00to get my throttle body cleaned and an induction service, transmission flush, new battery and a cooling system service...now today my car is cutting off and the dealer says I need a mass airflow sensor, to the tube of $400. Is it worth fixing with 105,000 miles? Could the recent throttle body and induction cleaning have caused the air flow sensor problem?

My car has 105000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The GM (OEM, dealer vended) MAF sensor for your car, namely GM part no. 23262343, costs roughly $60 if bought on the Internet from a GM dealer. The labor to install that sensor is negligible, although there is probably a 1 hour minimum charge. At any rate, to propose charging $400 to replace this specific part number on your specific year, make and model is economically irrational, illegitimate, unsupportable, and unconscionable. Given that attempt to get $400 from you, it would not be unreasonable to now question the diagnosis. What tangible and intelligible evidence, and explanation, did they give you to prove part failure? If, by chance, they recited merely a "code" (an OBD-II trouble code) and claimed that that "code" is the "basis" to replace the part, run for the exits as "codes" are not diagnoses and all parts must be separately and individually tested and such testing must be be performed with reference to the Factory Service Manual. Regarding throttle body cleaning, the "induction" service (whatever that was; if fuel related, I would have some additional commentary) and the transmission flush, I have my doubts as to whether those services were even required. Obviously, don’t pay $400 to have a $60 part installed and where the installation of the part could even, in fact, be accomplished through your own efforts (the under hood location of this part is very accessible). At the moment, if the car is not running well you need either a reliable confirmation (from the dealer) of the diagnosis or a new diagnostic from an individual or firm that is not going to cheat you. If you like, you can request assistance from one of YourMechanic’s certified professionals and they will get this resolved for you without any further nonsense. If going that route, just request a Check Engine Light diagnostic. With regard to your final question regarding potential damage to the sensor in the course of throttle body cleaning. Depending on the type of sensor in this application, the wrong chemical cleaning compound can damage the heated wire element in the sensor (heat interacts with the cleaning compound). Also, if care is not generally exercised while working in the air induction/throttle body area, it is possible to damage electrical connectors and wiring to the sensor. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

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