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So, your car is detonating, running poorly, or you are getting abnormal gas mileage, it may just be time to clean your MAF.
NOTE: This write-up is showing how to clean a MAF on a modular 4.6L.  Yours may be different, requiring different tools,etc.  Please check before proceeding.
First, i will explain the function of the MAF. The MAF is a device that is used to determine the mass of air entering the intake. The cars PCM (Powertrain Control Module) will take readings from the MAF and determine the optimal AFR (Air Fuel Ratio) needed with the air that is coming in. Over the years, air filter makers have created air filters that contain oil on them, and that can possibly go through the air intake, and some of this oil can get on the MAF. Many other factors can contribute to the MAF getting dirty, such as fine particles in the air that get past the filter.

For this project, you will need:
1. A can of MAF cleaner (electrical contact cleaner will work as well) at Advance Auto Parts
2. A T20 Torx Security bit
3. Bit driver (You should have one laying around)

How to clean your MAF

To clean the MAF, you first have to find it.
The MAF is usually a small black box, with 1 connector on it. It is located just past the air filter on most cars. A MAF is pictured below.

How to clean your MAF

Step 1. Disconnect the MAF connector.

How to clean your MAF

Step 2. Unscrew the TORX screws. Take your time and be VERY careful, these screws are known for snapping, breaking, and coming out stripped.

How to clean your MAF

Step 3. Pull the MAF out very gently. If you are not gentle, you may break one of the wires. Pull it straight up.Be warned, if you break one of these wires, you have a 200 dollar paperweight on your hands and a broken sensor.

Step 4. Set the sensor down with the wires up. Do not let ANYTHING touch the wires, and be EXTREMELY careful.
How to clean your MAF

Step 5. Take bottle of MAF cleaner and spray the wires. Do not let the straw touch the wires, just spray them. Make sure you spray them thoroughly. Try not to get any of the cleaner on the body of the electronics within the sensor.
How to clean your MAF

Step 6. Wait for sensor to dry. This should happen somewhat fast, but be sure it is dry.

Step 7. Put MAF sensor back into its place. Be EXTREMELY careful not to break the wires again. DO not rotate the sensor when it is placed within the testing tube (the place where the MAF takes its readings). Make sure you get it in correctly the 1st time.

Step 8. Carefully screw MAF screws back in. Do not over tighten, just be slow, and put them both in, but not tight. After the screws are near in, tighten both of them, one at a time. If you over tighten, you may break the screw.

Step 9. Plug MAF connector back in.

Step 10. Wait 20 mins, and start your car. If a check engine light is on, this can be for a few reasons. Two of these reasons are

A. The PCM is not used to the MAF being clean, and it may think it is faulty. Pull the battery for 20 mins, plug it back in.
B.If the CEL is still on, suspect that you possibly broke one of the wires.

found @ http://www.SN95forums.com
By: AaRoN

There are 6 comments
Mike D – Delware
May 09, 2013 - 08:25 AM
Subject: Mass Air Cleaning

Everything in the write up is spot on the only thing that needs to be changed is DO NOT think if your Check Engine Lite (CEL) is still on that you have broken the MAF wire. Confirm the problem before blaming your self. Places like Auto zone,Advance Auto and others will scan your vehicle for free or you can buy a code reader fairly cheap these days.

o – Vargina
April 07, 2013 - 11:25 PM

sorry too much editing


Keith – Georgia
February 28, 2012 - 03:28 PM
Subject: Good write up!

Good job! I just yanked mine out since i was getting a few P codes. Others have suggested cleaning the MAF sensor. You were the first hit on google! Luckily my MAF does not resemble yours (4.6L V8, GT) It has a hard plastic tube like object surrounding the sensor leads. It seems to have 3 contact points inside this tube. If you were looking at the sensor as it would sit in the intake, there is one contact point near the base (also protected with hard plastic, but not blocking air movement). There is another slightly lower, but in the middle of this long plastic tube. And finally, another facing the opposite way the air flows.

Sorry, images may be a little big... fell free to resize if you want/need to use them.

jack – San Antonio, TX.
January 21, 2012 - 07:10 PM
Subject: thank you so much !

my daughter bought a 2001 Mustang v6 convertable.
It was being slugish going up hills.
the check engine light came on.
Auto Zone checked for free and said it was the Mass Air Flow sensor... they wanted a rebuild one for $133.00 or new one for about $400.00 !
I looked on the internet and found you post or website.
I just finished cleaning the sensor... and the check engine light is off and the car runs so much better.
I wish I had a web site where I could go to for all my other auto need...

Thanks again !

zed higgins
July 28, 2011 - 11:24 AM
Subject: awesome writeup

Thanks great writeup

walt bavaro – hawaii
October 22, 2010 - 05:27 AM
Subject: 2000 mustang will not start

Hello, I visited your site and glad there still good mustang people around, I used to have a 69, 15 or so years ago befor I moved to hawaii. I have a 2000 mustang v6 coupe I bought 3 months ago and was a great runner till the battery died because I do not drive it much here in maui, I put a 2 amp 6 hour charge on it and started fine then I put it through the warm up to operating temp, then idle for 1 min, then ac for 1 min like it says in the mustang guide-care and maint. pg 158-159, shut off the car, started it again and right side cluster-o/d, traction control, abs, brake light did not light up(left side did light up) and the motor tryed to start like if wanted to rip out of the motor mounts, did not start, turned off, tryed to start again and motor cranks but no start with same cluster lights did not go on and dim odometer when turn on start, positive battery cable started smokeing, put new cable terminals(pos & neg) and still the same as befor-right side cluster no work and good cranking but no start. Possibly be alternator heating battery. Could MAF or (CKP-purple corosion a guy said they had-and where is it?) or PCM be checked or cleaned by me. If there is a fuze or corosion to get the right side cluster to come back it will start. What ever keeps the right side cluster unlite I think is the problem. If I could call you or you me that would be great. 808-264-1621 call anytime day or night or email a number I can contact you. I could not find a number to call you. Thanks if you can call. Sorry for the long letter, it would be eazyier to talk over the phone in person...Walt

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