How to Clean Your Maf Sensor in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The mass airflow sensor is a critical component within the Vehicles. The sensor, commonly called the MAF sensor, tells the engine's computer how much air is going into the engine. The engine computer uses this information to maintain and control the air to fuel ratio. Regular MAF sensor maintenance includes cleaning the sensor when the Vehicles begins to idle roughly or consume more gas. Keeping the sensor clean will help the Vehicles run efficiently.

Under The Hood:

 How to Clean Your Maf Sensor in Subaru Outback

Pop the hood and locate the MAF sensor on the intake tube. It will be a circular object inline between the air filter and the throttle body with an electrical connection.

Unplug the electrical connection from the MAF sensor using your hands.

Unscrew the hose clamps on either side of the MAF sensor using a screwdriver and pull out the MAF sensor from the vehicle.

Spray the inside of the sensor with the MAF cleaner. Get out all of the gunk, but don't touch the interior of the piece at all with any towels or rags which may damage the sensor.

Reinstall the MAF sensor in the reverse order it was removed.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Spray MAF cleaner

 How to Clean a MAF Sensor on a BMW

Open the hood on the car. Locate the airbox. This will vary depending on the model of BMW but will be located somewhere near the intake side of the engine. Disconnect the wiring harness from the MAF by pulling the retaining clip up.

Remove the bolts that hold the airbox in place in the engine bay. Loosen the hose clamp that holds the intake to the airbox. Remove the hoses that go to the intake and the exhaust side of the airbox and remove the airbox from the engine bay. You may need to do some maneuvering and jiggling to get the airbox out.

Set the airbox on a workbench or somewhere clean. Remove the MAF from the airbox by prying the retaining clips out of the way.

Spray the MAF cleaner onto the entire screen of the MAF, being careful that you don’t touch any parts with the plastic nozzle on the can of the cleaner. Wipe the MAF housing, intake tube and nearby areas with a clean microfiber towel.

Reinstall the MAF in the airbox. Carefully reinstall the airbox in the engine bay with the bolts that hold it in place. Reconnect the intake and exhaust tubing and tighten any hose clamps. Start the motor to ensure that it is running correctly.

Items you will need

  • Socket set and ratchet

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Mass air flow sensor cleaner

  • Microfiber towel

 How to Clean the MAF Sensor on a Silverado

Pop the hood. Locate the mass air flow sensor on the passenger side of the engine compartment, bolted to the air filter box. Unplug the wiring to the sensor by hand.

Remove the hose clamp connecting the MAF sensor to the intake tubing using a flathead screwdriver. Then unbolt the sensor from the air box using the 1/4-inch ratchet and socket.

Spray the mass air flow sensor cleaner along the inside of the sensor, making sure to get the metal wire in the middle completely. Then allow it to air dry.

Bolt the mass air flow sensor onto the air box with the ratchet, resecure the intake tubing using the flathead screwdriver, then plug the sensor back into the harness.

Items you will need

  • 1/4-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Mass air flow sensor cleaner

 How to Clean a MAF Sensor on a Corolla

Place the Corolla in "Park" and allow the vehicle to cool for a half hour, permitting components to cool completely.

Locate the MAF sensor under the hood of the Corolla. The sensor is found on the air intake side of the engine and is positioned directly behind the air box. Refer to the Corolla owner's manual for a diagram, if needed.

Unhook the wiring harness on the sensor and place it to the side. Use a T-20 Torx bit to remove the two screws holding the sensor down. Unhook the hose clamps that secure the sensor in place. The sensor will now be loose enough to remove.

Remove the sensor by carefully pulling it off of the mount. The sensor may need to be jostled a bit to remove it, but be careful to not damage the component.

Spray MAF housing cleaner into and on top of the sensor. Be sure to get cleaner into the plug area and screen as well. Clean away dirt and debris on the sensor using a microfiber cloth.

Reinstall the sensor by placing it back onto the engine intake. Replace the screws and tighten using the T-20 Torx. Attach the hose clamps and reconnect the wiring harness. Close the Corolla's hood.

Items you will need

  • T-20 Torx bit

  • MAF housing cleaner

  • Microfiber cloth