How to Clean a MAF Electrical Connector with a Cleaner

by Skip Shelton

The mass airflow sensor (MAF), is located in the airway between the air filter and the throttle body of an engine. The MAF sensor provides data to the vehicle computer regarding the volume of air passing through the air intake tube. A MAF sensor wire is charged with electricity to reach a specific temperature. Air passes over the wire cooling it. The sensor measures how much electricity is required to maintain the required temperature. Dirt, oils and other contaminants will insulate the wire, resulting in false readings. Clean the MAF sensor to restore accurate air flow readings.

Locate and disconnect the MAF sensor cable. The electrical cable connects, as a plug, to the MAF sensor from the outside of the air intake tube or air intake path. The sensor location depends on the vehicle make and model. Most Ford models have the sensor connected to the air intake tube. Most Chevrolet vehicles have the sensor in a screened compartment between the air filter box and intake tube. Some other manufacturers may install the MAF sensor near or on the throttle body assembly.

Remove the air intake tube to access the MAF sensor. Air intake tubes are held in place by worm drive screws, bolts or with clamps. Disconnect any vacuum lines preventing movement of the air intake tube to access the MAF sensor.

Locate the sensor wires in the air intake path. The wires are very fragile and should not be touched. Trace the electrical connection at or on the intake tube to locate the sensor position. Look into the air intake tube or screened area to find the wires.

Spray the wires with MAF airflow sensor cleaner. Soak the wires for three to five seconds, allow to dry and repeat.

Re-install the air intake tube, vacuum lines and any clamps bolts or screws removed to access the MAF sensor. Reconnect the MAF sensor plug.


  • check MAF sensor cleaner is available in an aerosol can at auto parts stores.


  • close Do not use solvents other than MAF sensor cleaner to clean the MAF sensor. Strong solvents may damage the wire, temperature gauge or sensor.

Items you will need

About the Author

Skip Shelton has been writing since 2001, having authored and co-authored numerous articles for "Disclose Journal." He holds a Bachelor in Science in education and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Northwest Nazarene University. Shelton also operates a small automotive maintenance and part-replacement shop.

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