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The Motorists' Guide

Guide to MAF Sensors

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Steve takes a look at a small, yet vital component that every modern car has abd is crucial to smooth running of your engine. 

What is a Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor? 

A Mass Air Flow Sensor measures the flow of air entering the engine so inorder for the engine ECU to provide the correct amount of fuel when both the air and fuel mix within the cylinders. The MAF Sensor takes into account the quantity, quality abd temperature of the air to help with the correct amount of fuel. Thus, allowing the engine to run as smoothly as possible. 

Where can I find the MAF Sensor? 

The MAF sensor is located on your air intake system, often not far from your airbox and before the throttle body. There are two different types of MAF sensor as per the pictures, but they do the same job. 

Does it go Wrong? 

The short answer is yes, but when a MAF sensor starts to fail it will cause the vehicle's engine to run rough or have an erratic idle because the ECU cannot correctly determine how much fuel the engine needs to make the vehicle run correctly. It can also cause the engine to cut out when driving. 

Can it be cleaned? 

Yes it can be cleaned, but I would only recommend using MAF sensor cleaner as other cleaning products could damage the sensor. Be careful when you handle the MAF sensor as it is a delicate piece of kit. 

Is it easy to replace? 

Usually very easy to replace as the MAF sensor is screwed into the air intake system. Depending on the type of MAF fitted to your vehicle you may need to dismantle the air intake system, such as removing the airbox for example. This is a part that can be changed by someone with very little or no mechanical experience with a selection of conventional tools such as a screwdriver. 

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