Oct 7, 2011

How to fix a MAF Sensor CEL Tutorial

Almost all cars after the 90's have a MAF sensor. The MAF sensor detects airflow thereby sending signals to the engine to adjust how much fuel to deliver. They oftentimes get dirty from years of driving, and the sensor gets clogged with dirt and oil causing poor gas mileage as well as poor performance. Your car may even throw a Check Engine Light (CEL). In my opinion, most MAF sensors don't need to be replaced, but just a good cleaning will make the MAF sensor perform like new again.

Disclaimer: This is for demonstration purposes only. Removing and mishandling the MAF Sensor can be a costly mistake. Some of these newer sensors go for a few $100. Proceed at your own risk.

CRC/Mass air flow sensor cleaner


1. With the car off and key removed, disconnect and remove your MAF Sensor

2. Looking down the MAF sensor with your flashlight, you should see two platinum wires with two tiny sensors in the middle of them. If these are covered in black gunk, take your CRC MAF cleaner and spray it at the wires. The cleaner should evaporate quickly. You can stop here if the wires become clean.

3. If the gunk is still stuck on the wires, grab your Q-tip and spray some MAF cleaner on it and again down the hole. Carefully clean and rub the wires as they are very fragile. If you break the wire, then you'll need a new sensor.

4. Reinstall your MAF sensor. Turn on your car and go for a test drive. If there was a CEL, it should now be gone. Enjoy better gas mileage and car performance!