MAF sensor | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

MAF sensor

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by chefadele, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. chefadele

    chefadele FEOA Member

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    1993 Escort Wagon. 160,000. Check engine light goes on and off intermittently. Shop says MAF sensor. Said OK to leave it for now. How worried should I be?
  2. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    No worries. Just clean the sensor. Tons of videos on it on YouTube.
  3. chefadele

    chefadele FEOA Member

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    Thank you. I can’t do it myself but I will ask the shop. It is my local Ford dealer and they are very helpful with my 26 year old car!
  4. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Mechanics won't clean a sensor, only replace. Because it's more money.
  5. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    They also don't like to try to clean or fix things in case that doesn't fix the problem, then they get the dreaded "come back". Whereas if they just replace a part, then if there's a problem, it's with the part maker instead.
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  6. chefadele

    chefadele FEOA Member

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    OK, thanks. I will find someone to do it. I really appreciate this forum.
  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Another aspect of the mechanic wanting to replace a sensor, rather than clean it - is that he/she can assume most of the parts under the hood are 20+ years old, and have served well, and that their future lifetime is sort of murky. So putting in a new one starts the clock on a new sensor that is likely in better shape than the old one.

    With a 26 year old car, its nice if you can find any outfit that is willing to try and fix it or mechanic that is willing to sort out its vintage mysteries. Some places consider time spent on a 26 year old car to be time wasted.
    A friend of mine has a Datsun/Nissan 300Z that he bought new. Living in Scottsdale AZ, the car has never been in rain and seldom parked outside at night, etc. But each time he has to take it to the dealer, its costs him like $1000. I advised him he needed to get a set of tools and the manuals, and do his own work. He is a surgeon, and says he cant do that.


    Its only the shade-tree hobbyists like us that get the joy of fixing our own car.
  8. chefadele

    chefadele FEOA Member

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    My local dealer has been looking after my car for 15 years. They take it seriously and carry out an oil change and inspection every 6 months. When they looked for the cause of the check engine light and told me about the sensor, they did not even charge me!!
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  9. Krankie

    Krankie FEOA Member

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    As a mechanic, I can tell you the reason we rarely just clean a sensor and send you out the door is that that only works maybe 50-60% of the time. It can be difficult to tell for sure that cleaning the sensor will get rid of the issue for good so we usually opt for the new sensor in the name of reliability. Also know that most decent shops offer a warranty on their work. So if we clean the sensor and tell you it will be good, but it isn't, then you might reasonably expect us to fix it for free afterward which means we then need to give you a sensor for basically free. You can see why that isn't good for the bottom line.
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  10. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    Back in the day I would clean the sensor whenever the customer bought an air filter or other preventative maintenance like injector service. I always looked at it as preventative maintenance and threw it in without charging them whenever I was doing a good paying job and had things apart anyways. Some times its obvious that a spider made a nest or something like that. Sometimes you can see the buildup off dirt on the hot wire that is gone after a short blast of cleaner and air.
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  11. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Marvin, what cleaner did you use? I would be tempted to use ordinary carb cleaner (without any lubricant, silicone etc.) but often read that these sensors are made of some incredibly fragile material that will be ruined by the wrong cleaner.
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  12. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    Brake cleaner or denatured alcohol. Use compressed air to blow any dry dust, then use cleaner, then air again. Normally the censors fail for two reasons, contamination or the hot wire fails like a light bulb filament . Most of Fords that I have seen fail because of contamination and give a consistent out of calibration reading. Shaking them makes no difference in the reading. Many of the GM ones I seen go bad has the hot wire inside the MAF go bad. Those give erratic reading that vary widely and may change temporary if you bang on them.
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  13. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Thanks, Marvin.
  14. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    I use acetone.

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