The final goal when replacing a damaged mass air flow sensor is to ensure that your engine will recognize the new sensor.
However, in some ways, issues could still persist after the replacement procedure, all of which can be avoided if you know what to do after replacing mass air flow sensor.
And in this article, we’ll discuss the necessary steps to take after replacing your car’s mass air flow sensor and why you need to do them. Keep reading!
What To Do After Replacing Mass Air Flow Sensor?
If you think everything is done after the mass air flow replacement, that’s not the case. There is still additional work you need to do. These are:
Reset Your Vehicle’s ECU
Clearing out any errors and improper settings your car previously had requires resetting the ECU, which includes erasing the whole computer memory in your car.
In most contemporary vehicles, the ECU and ECM will auto-reprogram after changing the mass air flow sensor.
However, if you have an older car model, resetting the ECU manually is required.
This is the easiest way to address problems that occur after installing a brand-new mass air flow sensor.
If you have a newer vehicle, you can reset the ECU by removing the battery or by using an OBDII scanner.
Unplug The Battery In Your Vehicle
It’s highly advised to unplug your batteries for 10 to 15 minutes.
But why should you do that?
The goal of this step is to give the car’s computer enough time to reset, erase out-of-date information, and update settings in order to record new parameters with fresh replacements.
This step ensures that your sensor’s valve functions properly because not all vehicles can automatically reset the problem code if you detach the battery for a period of time.
Your car’s computer will then begin transferring all of the information to the new mass air flow sensor as soon as your battery is connected.
There shouldn’t be any other problems after unplugging the car’s battery.
Double Check The Sensor’s Placement
If you decide to change the mass air flow sensor yourself, be sure to adhere to the instructions exactly.
Faulty readings from a mass air flow sensor that must be installed properly lead the ECU to feed your engine the incorrect amount of fuel.
A poor air-fuel ratio that results in rough idling is another possible outcome.
Conduct Routine Maintenance
A mass airflow sensor check-up is overlooked in most maintenance schedule checklists.
But some of the problems that a faulty MAF sensor brings are quite serious; therefore, you shouldn’t disregard the maintenance of this component.
Well-performed routine maintenance can help reduce the requirement for mass air flow sensor replacement.
Why Do You Need To Reset Your Mass Air Flow Sensor?
Why is a reset required following the replacement of the MAF sensor? This thought might have persisted in your mind under this circumstance.
There are two reasons why a reset is needed, to let the ECU relearn and to prevent the check engine light from turning on.
Relearning Of The ECU
Resetting the ECU will allow it to retrain on the air/fuel ratio.
If you don’t do this, your vehicle can run rich or lean, indicating that the air and fuel are not mixed properly.
This can harm the engine.
Check Engine Light May Turn On
If the mass air flow sensor is not reset, this warning light on your dashboard can come on.
This happens as a result of the mass air flow sensor’s inability to provide precise data to the ECU.
You can erase any codes that might have been saved in the ECU’s memory by rebooting the ECU.
When To Replace Mass Air Flow Sensor?
It’s time for a mass air flow sensor replacement when your car exhibits these symptoms:
- RPMs noticeably change without the driver’s intervention.
- It’s quite difficult to get the engine to start or turn over.
- The engine sputters.
- Not long after starting, the engine stalls.
- When running at idle or under load, the engine pauses or lags.
- Acceleration with pauses and jerks.
- Idling that is overly rich or lean.
- Check engine light is on.
How To Clean The Mass Air Flow Sensor?
Your maintenance schedule should include cleaning the mass air flow sensor.
If you are unsure of how to maintain a mass air flow sensor, you should follow the instructions below.
Usually, the process lasts only a few minutes. You can follow the steps below:
Step 1: Locate the air intake system. You can refer to your vehicle’s manual to pinpoint the precise location.
Step 2: Disassemble the air intake system and find the sensor.
Step 3: Use the cleaner you can purchase from retail suppliers to spray clean the mass air flow sensor. Additionally, if the engine stalls, it is typical.
Step 4: Immediately after spraying, use the nozzle to prevent the engine from breathing or running.
Step 5: Just as when you disassembled them, reinstall each component one at a time.
Step 6: Clear all codes that might have appeared when you cleaned the mass air flow sensor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Soon Does a New Mass Air Flow Sensor Start Working?
A new sensor typically requires a few minutes to get going. Engine performance will start to improve nearly right away.
However, the computer may need up to 30 minutes to fully re-calibrate.
Of course, the rule can occasionally be broken. It can take the new sensor a little longer to begin functioning properly.
How Do You Test If Your Mass Air Flow Sensor Is Working?
You can test your car’s mass air flow sensor using a multimeter. But you should take note to only use an impedance of 10 MΩ (Megaohms).
This is because this range will help safeguard the circuits and computer of your vehicle.
You can follow these steps to test the mass air flow sensor:
- Set the multimeter to 20 volts DC.
- Unplug the sensor’s connector.
- Put the device’s black probe into the sensor’s ground terminal, and the red probe into the battery’s positive terminal/wire within the sensor’s connector.
- Don’t start the vehicle, but instead move the key to the “ON” position.
- If the device reading is between 10 and 13 volts, your sensor is good. Otherwise, you need to replace it.
Why Do Mass Air Flow Sensors Fail?
One of the main reasons mass air flow sensors need to be replaced is contamination.
The sensor’s component parts pollute and break down as air, dirt, and other contaminants enter the sensor.
Sluggish performance, rough idling, weak acceleration, or even stalling are common complaints from drivers.
Additionally, refueling may be required more frequently.
Depending on the car model, contamination might happen as soon as every 18,000 to 25,000 miles.
How Long Do Mass Air Flow Sensors Last?
This component in your car is built to last a lifetime. In essence, there is no set time between replacements.
Due to this, it is customary to wait until the sensor fails before replacing it.
Your mass airflow sensor should last for at least ten years, although this can change based on several things.
Comparatively, other car owners say that on average, the mass air flow lasts about 80,000 to 150,000 miles.
Cleaning and maintaining the mass air flow properly will help it last longer.
How Often Should You Clean The Mass Air Flow Sensor?
As a preventive measure, it is highly advised that you should do so every 6 months or whenever you replace your engine oil.
It is possible to clean it at the same time as changing or cleaning your air filter, which will help you save time and money.
Why Is The MAF Sensor An Important Component Of Your Vehicle?
For the internal combustion engine in your car to run as efficiently as possible, a mass air flow sensor is required.
The ECU balances air and fuel according to its airflow measurement.
Or, to put it another way, your car wouldn’t run without a mass air flow sensor.
The next step is to reset the vehicle battery after replacing the mass air flow sensor. After that, regular maintenance is also crucial.
Thankfully, you won’t have too much trouble resetting the mass air flow sensor at home.
You should be ready to go if you just adhere to the above-mentioned procedures.
We hope that you now know what to do after replacing mass air flow sensor.
Of course, if you need help, you should always speak with a professional.
Hi! My name is Mark Stevens – the founder of Auto News Portal.
I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA, Europe and the Asia. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!