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How to Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor on Ford F150?

How to Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor on Ford F150?

Routine cleaning of the mass air flow sensor in a Ford F150 is necessary for its better performance.

Many people complain about the poor working of their truck engines, decreasing mileage, increased pinging, which is probably due to dirty MAF, so you need to examine it and correct the issue.

How to Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor on Ford F150? You can clean the mass air flow sensor on Ford F150 by using a cleaning spray on its components after testing for the contamination. The wires start to accumulate dust after 17000 to 255500 miles and slow the overall performance. A dirty MAF sensor causes problems while starting, accelerating, and running the engine.

MAF is a component of the electronic fuel injection system of a pickup truck. It performs the function of calculating the amount of air passing in the engine intake.

This information then passes to the management system, which regulates the fuel injection to the cylinders or combustion chambers.

Regular use and driving draws a lot of dirt into the truck and stuck in the MAF and starts building up the layer of oil and dust and these sensitive components start malfunctioning.

It mostly happens with the high mileage engines, having original MAF sensors, and the vehicle experience rough running.

However, it can not calculate this value when contaminated, and your ford computer system can not access the correct amount, resulting in misleading values representation.

The accumulation of the debris can occur sooner or later depending upon your maintenance and cleaning schedule for Ford truck.

Usually, you will see contamination after 25500 miles, while it can also occur every 17000 miles, based on the models and driving frequency.

You must give it a cleaning session while installing or reinstalling oil-filled air filters because the trapped dirt will cause several problems.

Locate the MAF Sensor on Ford F150

Open the airbox and undo the clasps or latches on the assembly to reach the air duct, present between filter and throttle.

Raise the assembly to get your hands on the sensor and use a light torch for convenience. 

Get a flat or Phillips head screwdriver to pop out the tabs or pieces holding the components. 

Use Torx drivers to remove the Torx head bolts, get your approach to the wiring harness and disconnect them from MAF.

Some old ford models have epoxy tops on the bolts for protection, so you need pliers to loosen them.

Locate and expose the two wires and plug present on the bottom, and see if they turned dark due to dirt.

New trucks have these wires inside the inlet cavity, so you will feel difficulty reaching them but continue trying.

Use a camera to record how you are disassembling it so you can reverse the process for re-installation.

Spray the cleaner

Spray around 12 to 15 spurts of an appropriate electrical cleaner like radio shack, auto zone, pep boys, and others on wires and plates.

You can also use mass air flow sensor products like CRC, O’Reilly, and others.

Do not scrub or touch the wires in any condition because they are much delicate.

Spray it on the resistor as well, which is the intake air temperature sensor.

Let it dry for few minutes in the open air.

After cleaning, check other components in the surrounding also, if they need repairing or maintenance.

You may need to replace the filter, clean the filter box replace it if broken to guarantee the longevity of your ford sensor and better engine performance. 

Reinstall the MAF in the same way you recorded, and be careful about the wires and screws.

How does a mass air flow sensor work in a Ford F150?

MAF is present between the filter and the engine intake and performs its function by checking on them.

This device has two heated wires that work using electricity and informs ford’s ECU about the amount of air-flown through the engine, along with its temperature.

These platinum wires or plates measure the required current to maintain the system’s temperature at 200 degrees Celcius.

However, the insulation starts when unnecessary particles accumulate on these plates or wires, resulting in poor performance.

The insufficient air flowing around the wires leads to idle because of low current usage to heat the wires.

In this case, you need to press the gas to open the throttle for more air to pass over the wires, cooling down them.

It means that the amount of current corresponds to the density of air and the electronic chip inside the MAF performs the function of translating current to signals.

These analog voltage signals trigger the powertrain control module to demand more fuel and maintain the air/fuel ratio optimal.

It also determines transmission electronic pressure control, shifts points, torque using these readings.

How to detect faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor on Ford F150?

The dirty MAF continues to read and show the measured value and send signals but in manipulated form.

Your vehicle’s PCM will tell you about the piled-up debris, so you need to check it yourself using these techniques.

Scanning tool: The new models provide the ease of testing it with the scan tools at different RPMs such as idle, 1000, 2000, and 3000 rpm., 

The measured readings are then compared with other known-reading and specifications to check their working.

The slower readings indicate that there are problems in the sensor which is affecting its performance.

Rarely, a contaminated or poorly- performing MAF shows higher reading than the average, but it depends upon the engines like V6 and V8 represent high readings.

Unplug the sensor: A manual technique to detect the problem is to unplug IT, run the vehicle and examine if the performance improves or not.

Check Engine light: a dirty devise triggers check lights of the engine. It displays a trouble or default code such as P0101 diagnosis contamination, and P0102 detects circuit low. 

Code P0171 indicates too lean system (bank 1), and P0174 code indicates too lean system (bank 2). Other codes include P0100, P0103, P0104.

Other problems: Check other aspects as well because there can be default in its components sometimes. Other inspections include:

  • Wiring and connections
  • Its assembly and placement

However, the issue is not always in the device but also in clogged or plugged air filter, poorly installed filter and catalytic converters that causes low values.

Vacuum leaks and poor electrical connection also fluctuate measured values, so always rely on a good scanner such as a torque app.

Signs and Symptoms of Dirty Mass Flow Sensor

Usually, a bad sensor gives several indications and symptoms and becomes the reason for the poor work efficiency of the vehicle.

The lack or decrease in power is the most common symptom because the PCM = fuel ignition computer is not performing well.

Poor acceleration

Wrong calculation means the wrong indication, and these indications lead to excessive fuel in the combustion chambers, resulting in unnecessary ignitions.

Your vehicle will begin to hesitate while accelerating, and you can experience jerking and stalling also.

These issues are more dominant while speeding up or down and increases the chances of accidents and injuries.

Disturbed air to fuel ratio

The disturbance in the ratio decrease fuel mileage and occurs in two ways. 

  1. When fuel is more, and the air is less in the cylinders.
  2. When fuel is less, and the air is more in the combustion chamber.

Your vehicle will run rich in these conditions where fuel is more and start producing black smoke, rough idling, trigger check engine light, and poor fuel efficiency.

It will run lean with more air volume and less fuel which temporarily increases fuel efficiency but causes engine surging, seizures, hard starting.

Precautionary tips for cleaning the Ford MAF Sensor

These tips are much essential to follow for avoiding any harm and damage to your truck. However, remember that every product is not suitable for this purpose and only get your hands on the recommended products.

Never use carburetor or brake cleaner for this purpose as they leave residues, attracting more debris.

Avoid using q-tips, rubbing alcohol, and any harsh product that can damage electronics.

Never physically touch its components.

Gasoline leaves petroleum residues and is too harmful when used as a cleaner, so avoid it.

The Dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor Can Lead to Misfire

Improper throttle opening caused by the air control system leads to the misfire, motor stalling, and idle controls.

Contaminated MAF causes faulty throttle hose connections because the engine is stalling, while vacuum leaks are another major reason.

Dirty injectors restrict fuel delivery and decrease the overall fuel pressure leading to the lean or tripping condition.

Concisely, these buildups affect the vehicle’s all systems, electronics, and machinery, and neglecting it will ultimately cause irreversible losses.

What is the time of replacement of mass air flow sensor in Ford F150?

Routine and timely maintenance is the key to increase the life of MAF. Therefore, it is advisable to clean it after every six months, following the above method.

The replacement is necessary when you observe no improvement in engine performance because of prevailing poor indications to PCM.

You can identify the need by noticing the gas mileage after cleaning and replace it if you see no changes.

Generally, there is no replacement date and time written on the ford’s manual. It means it depends on its condition and functioning.

However, it will cost you around $300 to $600 for its replacement which you can save with proper cleaning under $10.

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