How to Locate an MAF Sensor

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The mass airflow sensor (MAF sensor) is a key element in the electronic fuel injection system of new models of cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks. The MAF sensor detects the amount of air entering the engine and informs the ECM (engine computer module) what type of air-to-fuel ratio to meter out to the cylinders for the best mixture of performance and low emissions. The first sign of a bad MAF sensor might be when the "Check engine" light on the car's dashboard illuminates. The worst case symptoms of a bad sensor would be stalling, misfiring and stumbling acceleration. Knowing where the MAF sensor is located will help in getting future problems rectified quickly.

  • Open the hood of the car.

  • Locate your vehicle's air cleaner assembly. Consult your owner's manual if you are not sure where the air cleaner assembly is found.

  • Find the large plastic tube that connects the air cleaner assembly to the intake manifold on the car's engine.

  • Locate the MAF sensor, which is usually mounted in the tube between the air cleaner assembly and the engine.

  • Close the hood of the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are having trouble locating the MAF sensor, find the wiring that runs from the air flow tube, in-between the air cleaner assembly and the engine. The wiring will plug directly into the MAF sensor, which is mounted in the tube.
  • To change an MAF sensor, unplug the wiring connector by squeezing or lifting the tabs on the connector (depending on your vehicle) and then pulling the connector from the sensor. Remove the sensor from the tube by first removing the holding screws or by rotating the sensor 90 degrees (depending on your vehicle) and then pulling it straight out of the tube.

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