How to Clean the Ford Mass Air Flow Sensor

PART 1: Remove the MAF Sensor

Ok, this is what you signed up for

Here are the actual removal and cleaning instructions for the MAF sensor.

One last thing... I'm gonna' be using a photo of a typical Ford MAF sensor. It probably won't look exactly like yours... but it will be very similar. No matter how many wires, or the color of the MAF sensor's body (there are some gray colored ones), these cleaning instructions apply.

This is what you need to do:

  1. 1

    Start by removing the two Torx head bolts that hold the MAF sensor in place (see photo 1).

    In some older Ford applications... the top bolt will have a spot of epoxy in place, to prevent you from removing the MAF sensor. This shouldn't stop you... what you'll have to do is to remove the whole MAF assembly from the vehicle and use a pair of pliers to loosen and remove the bolt.

  2. 2

    Once the sensor is removed, it should look like the ones in photos 2 and 3 in the image viewer.

    Photo 2 is of the newer style Ford MAF sensor and photo 3 is of the older type MAF sensor. If your Ford vehicle uses the older type... you have to be very careful not to damage the hot wires, since both are exposed and can be easily damaged/broken.

PART 2: Clean the MAF Sensor

Once the MAF sensor is off of your Ford (or Mercury, Lincoln, or Mazda) vehicle... place it on a work table.

Once again, as a friendly reminder... with the older type of MAF sensor (photo 1), you've got to be very careful with the exposed hot wires.

Bumping the MAF sensor's hot wires into anything or touching them can cause them to break off the MAF sensor (this too I can vouch for from personal experience)

On the newer vehicles, the MAF sensor hot wires are set inside the assembly (photo 2) and so accidentally breaking them is not an issue.

Alright, these are the next steps:

  1. 1

    Now, grab your MAF cleaning spray or electronics cleaning spray and spray the hot wires.

  2. 2

    On the older type MAF sensor... you have only two exposed hot wires to clean. On the newer type, both hot wires are inside the air inlet cavity and you'll be able to see them without trouble.

    Also, on the newer type... you'll see a resistor on the outside of the assembly (see photo 3), this resistor is the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor. Clean this bad boy too.

  3. 3

    If the MAF sensor is dirty... both resistors on the hot wires will be full of dark fuzz.

    A clean resistor is usually a light gray color, and of course, it won't have any type of fuzz on it.

  4. 4

    Resist the temptation to physically wipe the resistors of the two hot wires. Spraying them and letting them air dry will clean them.

  5. 5

    If you're using an approved cleaning spray... this will immediately evaporate without leaving any trace... so when you're done, put the MAF sensor back and bolt it up. You're done!

Once you're done cleaning the MAF sensor, take a look at your air filter and the air filter box the MAF sensor is bolted to.

If the air filter is dirty, replace it. If the air filter box is dirty, clean it now. If the air filter box is broken, then you'll need to replace it.

By taking a look and remediating any issue (with the air filter or air filter box) you'll be able to guarantee that the MAF sensor will stay clean (contamination free) and your engine performing at its best.



Ford Vehicles:

  • Aerostar 3.0L, 4.0L
    • 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
  • Bronco 5.0L, 5.8L
    • 1994 1995, 1996
  • Crown Victoria 4.6L, 5.0L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Contour 2.0L, 2.5L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Ford Vehicles:

  • Escape 2.0L, 3.0L
    • 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Explorer 4.0L, 5.0L
    • 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • E150, E250, E350 4.9L, 5.0L, 5.8L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996

Ford Vehicles:

  • Focus 2.0L
    • 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • F150, F250, F350 4.9L, 5.0L, 5.8L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • Mustang (GT, Cobra) 2.3L, 4.6L, 5.0L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Ford Vehicles:

  • Probe 2.0L
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Ranger 2.3L, 2.9L, 3.0L, 4.0L
    • 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
  • Taurus 3.0L, 3.8L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Tempo 2.3L, 3.0L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994

Ford Vehicles:

  • Thunderbird 3.8L, 4.6L, 5.0L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

Mercury Vehicles:

  • Cougar 3.8L, 4.6L, 5.0L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Grand Marquis 4.6L, 5.0L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Mercury Vehicles:

  • Mountaineer 4.0L, 5.0L
    • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Mystique 2.0L, 2.5L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
  • Sable 3.0L, 3.8L
    • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Topaz 2.3L, 3.0L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994

Lincoln Vehicles:

  • Continental 3.8L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994
  • Town Car
    • 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

Mazda Vehicles:

  • B4000
    • 1994

“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”
George Carlin

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