How to Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Engines are combustible and need air in order to run properly. Cold air is denser and has more oxygen so it is more beneficial Vehicles the engine. When a mass air flow sensor goes bad in your Vehicles the check engine or service engine light will come on. You may experience poor performance issues with the engine. The mass air flow sensor calibrates changes that occur with the intake air flow as well as fuel and spark timing. Although it sounds complicated and is expensive to replace, it is relatively easy to install in your Chevy. Save yourself some money on labor charges and pop it in yourself and while you're there, it would be a good time to consider replacing your air filter if you haven't in a while.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor in a 3.8 2000 Buick

Open the hood of your Buick and locate the throttle body on the front of the engine. The air intake hose attaches to the front of the throttle body, making it easy to identify.

Disconnect the electrical connector from the end of the sensor by lifting the locking tab on the connector, then pulling it straight off the sensor. Locate the two screws on the top of the sensor--they are at opposite corners--and remove them with a Torx screwdriver.

Lift the MAF sensor straight up and away from the throttle body. Discard it and position a new MAF sensor on the throttle body, aligning the screw holes in the sensor with the threaded holes on the throttle body.

Install the two Torx-head retaining screws through the MAF sensor and into the throttle body. Tighten them with a Torx screwdriver, then push the electrical connector onto the end of the new sensor, making sure the locking tab snaps in place.

Items you will need

  • Torx screwdriver set

 How to Replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor in a Ford Taurus

Place the Ford Taurus in "Park," and turn the engine off. Allow the Taurus to cool for twenty minutes. Components within the vehicle are very hot; this will prevent potential burns.

Open the hood of the Ford Taurus. Locate the mass airflow sensor. The sensor is located on the air intake, behind the air box. If needed, refer to the owner's manual.

Disconnect the wire harness, and unhook the harness from the sensor. Locate the two bolts that hold the sensor in place. Remove the bolts, using a T-20 torix bit. Place the bolts in a secure spot, as they are needed to secure the replacement sensor.

Loosen the hose clamp holding the mass airflow sensor down. The hose clamp is held together with a small screw. Use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the screw. Once the hose clamp is loosened, pull the mass airflow sensor off of the mount. Discard the old sensor.

Install the replacement mass airflow sensor onto the mount. Replace the two bolts, and secure them using the T-20 torix. Screw the hose clamp tightly into place. Plug the wire harness into the sensor. The sensor is now installed. Close the hood of the Ford Taurus.

Items you will need

  • Replacement mass airflow sensor

  • T-20 torix bit

  • Flat-head screwdriver

 How to Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor on a 1999 Buick LeSabre

Open the LeSabre’s hood and loosen both hose clamps on the mass air flow sensor tubes with your socket set.

Unplug the wiring harness from the top of the sensor by hand.

Pull the sensor intake and outlet tubes off the air intake tube and throttle body inlet by hand. Lift the old mass air flow sensor out of the LeSabre’s engine well and set it aside.

Insert the new mass air flow sensor in place of the old one. Slide the inlet and outlet tubes over the air intake tube and throttle body inlet by hand.

Tighten the hose clamps with your socket set. Plug the wiring harness into the new sensor manually.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

 How to Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor in a Chevrolet

Open the hood to your Chevrolet with the engine off.

Locate the engine air filter box. The model of Chevrolet and size motor you have will dictate the location of the air box. Refer to the owner's manual if you need assistance finding it.

Follow the black air tube that runs from the air box to the throttle body. Located about in the middle of the air tube (on most models) is a small square metallic looking device with an electrical outlet plugged into it. That's the mass air flow sensor. Take the new one out of the box and compare how it is supposed to seat inside the air tube. Be care not to touch the internal element of the new sensor.

Unplug the wire outlet in the mass air flow sensor.

Loosen the air tube band clamps using the screwdriver. It might be easier to remove the tube connection from the air box and the throttle body and remove the tube as an assembled unit even though there are band clamps on either side of the mass air flow sensor. If a vacuum line tube is inserted into the air tube, you can simply pull it out. Remove the air tube.

Loosen the band clamp on one side of the mass air flow sensor and remove the tube. Insert the new mass air flow sensor and tighten the clamp. Repeat for the other side of the air tube.

Reinsert the air tube into place. Be sure there are no loose connection and the tube is securely covering the air box and throttle body connections. Tighten the clamps. Plug in the vacuum line if there was one you had to unplug. Plug the outlet back into the mass air flow sensor. It would also be recommended to open the air box and replace the air filter if it hasn't been done in a while.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver