Ford F-150/F-250: How to Clean a Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

Cleaning your MAF Sensor is a simple task that could save you money by doing it yourself on your Ford F-150 or F-250 Super Duty.

November 4, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014), and the F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

If your car is running rough, hiccuping, or having trouble starting you may have a dirty Mass Air Flow sensor, commonly referred to as a MAF sensor. The problem is very common on high mileage engines with an original MAF sensor. If you are experiencing any of these problems or a generally rough running engine on your Ford F-150 or Super Duty, cleaning your MAF sensor is a great place to start.

Materials and Tools Needed

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Torx pattern driver
  • Q-tip
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Rubbing alcohol

Step 1 - Remove MAF sensor

Locate you MAF sensor, which is the black box sitting on top of your metal airbox-to-intake snorkel mount. First, unplug the MAF sensor. Then remove the two Torx head bolts using your Torx pattern driver. Finally, lift the MAF sensor from the metal body.

Figure 1. Locate the MAF on top of the intake snorkel mount.

Step 2 - Clean the MAF sensor

Fill a small cup with your cleaning solvent, paint thinner, etc. Just be sure that your solvent leaves little to no residue behind. From here, let the sensor element soak in the solvent for a few hours, preferably over night. After soaking the element, the debris will be loosened. Then use a Q-tip to clean the wire ends of your Sensor element. Be sure to do so carefully, as these wires can be damaged easily. Finally, use rubbing alcohol on the end of a new Q-tip to remove any residue from your previous solvent.

Figure 2. Use a Q-tip to clean your MAF.

Step 3 - Re-install the MAF sensor

Place your sensor back into the Airbox-to-snorkel housing. Be cautious with the small wires, one small bump can pull them out of place. Now re-install both Torx bolts to hold the sensor in place. Do not over-torque your sensor's bolts, hand tight is fine. Then plug your MAF Sensor back into your harness.

Figure 3. Re-install the MAF sensor.

Featured Video - How to Clean a MAF sensor

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