How to Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor [Simple DIY Method : 2022]

Suppose you have gone out on the road along with your car, suddenly trying to pull hard but can’t pull.

Your car hesitates when you accelerate.

Wouldn’t that be very unpleasant for you!

It usually occurs due to a faulty Mass Air Flow sensor.

In most cars, the MAF sensor is something the owner has no idea what it is, or how it works.

For those of you who identify with such circumstances, we have gone through many processes of cleaning the MAF sensor.

So, if you are looking for how to clean mass air flow sensors?

Don’t worry, we have discussed the easiest and the most effective way in this article.

What is a Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)?

MAF sensor is located on the air intake system or in the air filter of the vehicle.

MAF sensor is determined to tell how much air is going into the engine so that the ECU (Engine Control Unit) also knows to tell the fuel injectors how much fuel to inject to keep a good air-fuel ratio.

Fuel-injected internal affliction engines are equipped with a mass airflow sensor (MAF) used to accurately measure the mass flow ratio of the air.

In one word, the MAF sensor measures how much air you are drawing into your engine.

How Does MAF Sensor Work?

To begin, let’s look at where the sensor is located!

In most vehicles, the MAF sensor is located somewhere in the air intake or air filter which is the area the air is going to be pulled into the engine from the air filter.

MAF sensor comes in different shapes and sizes.

Intake air hits the sensor, activating the temperature sensor, recording the sensor’s temperature, and transmitting it to the ECU.

The ECU warms the tungsten wire to a slightly higher temperature before drawing in air through the wire in response to this signal.

ECU will measure resistance.

The amount of resistance varies with the rate at which air is drawn in.

Tungsten wire has a higher resistance when there is less air intake and vice versa.

The ECU can determine the amount of airflow in the intake manifold based on this change in resistance.

That’s how the MAF sensor works.

How to Clean MAF Sensor Silverado?

It’s possible that your mass airflow sensor is dirty and needs to be cleaned if your vehicle sputters when you accelerate.

In this section, you’ll find clear instructions for cleaning the mass airflow sensor.

You’ll need a few things, such as-

  • A special mass airflow sensor cleaner (CRC)
  • Any tricks bit socket
  • T15 socket
  • 1/4-inch drive ratchet
  • A flathead screwdriver

Following these steps, you can clean the mass airflow sensor on a Chevrolet Silverado without assistance from a mechanic.

Step 01: Unplug All of Your Equipment

To avoid damaging anything, make sure everything is unplugged and disconnected.

Never clean the sensor on the vehicle.

Rather separate the cleaner from the car and then spray the cleaner.

Step 2: Take Apart the Air Filter Assembly

For starters, remove the air filter component from the way.

Use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp that secures the ductwork, then remove the bolt.

When you’re done, remove the entire assembly from the traffic path.

Remove the back clamp by unscrewing it.

You’ll need a wrench and a small socket to reach there.

Then, unhook all of the electrical wires. They’re gone in a flash.

To remove the sensor, wiggle it around until it pops off.

Step 03: Wash the MAF Sensor

When you open the sensor, you’ll see a bunch of tiny cables.

When the ECU receives a false reading from these tiny wires, the wrong amount of fuel is sent to the engine.

So, they must be cleaned for ensuring accurate results.

So, get your cleaner, head inside, and spray it all over for 3 to 5 seconds.

Sensors attached to the engine’s intake manifold measure the air entering the engine in milliliters per second.

What a delicate subject!

They need to be cleaned thoroughly.

Dry it for about 45 minutes.

Before reassembling, let it dry completely.

Step 04: Reassemble the Air Filter System

Please make sure you get it correctly when you start putting it together.

You can’t put it backward since it displays the flow and indicates which direction the air should flow.

After that, reconnect all electrical wires and tighten the back clampdown.

Finally, remove the air filter housing and reinstall it.

First, align the neck, then slip it in.

Get your bolts and tighten them by aligning them with the body’s holes and lining them up with your bolts.

NB: The first thing you have to realize is using a special cleaner, a mass airflow sensor cleaner. Don’t use anything else.

This video will help you to clean the MAF sensor of your Chevy Silverado.

What Happens When Your MAF Sensor Gets Dirty?

When your MAF sensor is dirty, you’ll notice a huge difference in the engine’s performance.

Here are a few indicators that your MAF sensor is clogged.

Let’s take a look at this one.

01. Hard Start

In most cases, when a mass airflow sensor becomes clogged, starting the car becomes impossible.

To start the vehicle, you may have to try a few times.

The car can sometimes startup when the mass airflow sensor is disconnected.

02. Excessive Rich/Lean Condition

An excessively rich or lean condition might be caused by a filthy mass airflow sensor.

There may be a link between poor fuel economy and the condition of a mass airflow sensor.

Clean the MAF using an appropriate air flow cleaner.

03. Hesitation During Acceleration

A filthy sensor is to blame for jerky acceleration in a vehicle that’s being rammed down on an expressway.

04. Start And Stall

Shortly after starting, the engine shuts down.

If the vehicle starts and runs after disconnecting the airflow sensor, the problem is with the airflow sensor and not with the vehicle itself.

05. Rough idling

No impediments should interfere with the sensor’s functionality during rough idling.

Air filter leaves in the air filter box, breaks intake input tube, loose sensor connection, and is separated from the airbox due to an extremely dirty air filter.

In any of these problems, the airflow will give the ECU a misleading reading.

As a result, the engine idle is a bit jerky.

In addition, a malfunctioning oxygen sensor might induce similar symptoms.

We’d advise double-checking that too.

How Often Should I Clean MAF Sensor?

Even if your car should always be flawless for a smooth ride, it is your duty to fix any issues with a dirty or faulty MAF sensor.

Maintaining an understanding of when to clean the MAF sensor is critical.

It’s strange because it doesn’t have a set time for cleaning up.

The engine oil should be changed at least once every six months to keep it clean.

When the muff sensor is dirty, your car’s engine will pop up to tell you the time.

A thorough clean-up and consultation with a car mechanic are necessary at this time.

It is not, however, a delicate one.

FAQs About How to Clean MAF Sensor Silverado

01. Can I use alcohol to clean MAF sensor?

As we said, always use a special cleaner, Don’t use anything else.

Most cleaners are alcohol-based, so you can save money by using alcohol to clean the MAF sensor.

02. How do I know if my MAF sensor is dirty?

We mentioned many symptoms in our article.

However, the simplest way to tell if your sensor is filthy or damaged is to watch for the engine light to come on in your automobile.

03. Will disconnecting the battery reset MAF sensor?

To that, I’d say yes. After 10-20 minutes, the sensor readings on the battery will be cleared, depending on how long it takes to recharge.


The mass airflow sensor may appear insignificant to you, but it will significantly impact your vehicle’s performance.

If you’re wondering, cleaning the mass airflow sensor is a safety issue, we would say minimally, only because if you have some sort of misfire or sluggishness coming from your engine, then obviously it’s a safety issue.

Overall, it’s super important to clean the MAF.

Suppose your engine doesn’t know how much air it’s receiving and mixes too much fuel or not enough fuel.

In that case, you could potentially damage your machine’s catalytic motor or other mechanical corridors.

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