The mass air flow sensor is a vital component of the vehicle. It provides the air flow rate of air entering the combustion unit to the engine control unit (ECU). Hence the ECU knows how much fuel mass should be delivered to the engine.
If the sensor becomes dirty or clogged, it can not measure the correct value of the air mass. That is why a dirty or contaminated air flow sensor can cause a lot of problems. It can reduce the power, and you may see a stalled engine in the worst-case scenario.
Therefore it is indispensable to clean the mass air flow sensor up periodically. You will be likely to see drastic improvements in car performance. Besides, a dirty MAF sensor can become heavily damaged, which can be irreparable. It will cost you almost a few hundred bucks. Hence regular cleaning is the best solution here.
If you own a Chevrolet Silverado, you should be familiar with this process. Here we are going to discuss the whole procedure from A to Z.
Complete Guide To Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
Learn a Bit More
Firstly you have to have some basic knowledge about this crucial component of your car. I have already mentioned what it does. There is a blend of physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, and computer science involved in the whole mass air flow system. Don’t be afraid; you don’t need to do a thesis on this topic. Just know some necessary stuff about this thing.
Time To Prep Up
Cleaning the mass air flow sensor is not that difficult task. The same thing applies to the Chevy Silverado. No matter what kind of vehicle you own, the process is almost similar. Although the process is fast and quick, you need some preparation. This process includes some tools and cleaning agents. On top of that, you need patience.
Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaners
You will find many types of MAF sensor cleaners in the market. The busy persons can even buy online without any hassle. On top of that, the cleaning agents are not costly at all. They are usually sold under ten bucks. Johnsen’s, CRC, Gunk, etc. are the most common and best-seller brands of mass air flow sensor cleaner. Most of them will provide you excellent cleaning performance.
The Hand Tools
First of all, you need a screwdriver for this DIY thing. It’s better if you have a screwdriver set with different types of bits. The bit type can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Most of the cars and trucks use Phillips bits. However, you may find Torx bit in your Chevy Silverado. For this reason, I recommend a multipurpose screwdriver set.
Removing the MAF
You have to remove the mass air flow sensor from the vehicle carefully. First, you have to open up the hood of your car. Then, look out for the air filter system. Here, at the downstream of the air filter, the MAF sensor is located. It is located at the tube joint with a connector that ended up in the engine control unit.
You can simply unplug the electrical wire connector with your hand. The sensor itself is a small device attached to some screws. Remove the screws with the compatible screwdriver. You will end up unmounting the mass air flow sensor ultimately.
NB: Remember the direction of the MAF sensor placement in the tube. Usually, there is an arrow to indicate the direction. If you don’t remember the direction, you might face a bit hassle while placing it back after cleaning.
Clean It Up
After carefully taking out the MAF sensor, you need to place it on a clean surface. A paper or fabric towel is a good option for this. There are wire connectors and many other crucial parts that make the sensor a delicate component. So, be careful while handling it.
Now take the air flow sensor cleaner and spray it on the sensor. You have to spray the mass air flow sensor cleaner to each side of the component. Now, let the thing becomes dry. It will take some time. Always follow the cleaner manufacturer’s manual before applying it.
Back In Place
If you could remove it without any obstacles, now you should not face any problems while putting it back in place. Don’t try to reassemble it before the cleaning agent dries up. Just follow the removal process in reverse order to place it back. Be careful about the arrow direction I mentioned earlier. Now, your vehicle is good to go.
When To Clean The Mass Air Flow Sensor
There is no exact interval of cleaning the mass air flow sensor. But if you are an expert driver and know your machine well, you should understand the signs of a dirty MAF sensor. The type of filter you are using and your driving habits may be the determining factors of the cleaning interval. However, it’s always better to clean up earlier to stay in the safe zone. You must remember one more thing that is after cleaning the mass air flow sensor you have to clean you hand with a hand cleaner.
The Signs of a Dirty Mass Airflow Sensor
The can can't speak. But it shows some sign whenever it is not well. You must be an experienced driver to know these signs. As always, there are some signs of a faulty or dirty mass air flow sensor that requires cleaning.
- You will observe poor performance in the engine. It is because a dirty sensor can not estimate the required air for burning the fuel.
- The unoptimized engine performance will result in a decreased mileage. Hence after cleaning it, you will get a better fuel economy.
- In the worst-case scenario, your engine might be stalled in the halfway. If this happens often, then you can be sure about the dirty MAF sensor.
As you can see, the cleaning process is straightforward. You don't even go to the repairing shop or any mechanic. By following this simple process, you can keep your Chevrolet Silverado running swiftly. So it's high time you started using mass airflow sensor cleaners for getting the best driving experience.