It’s funny how some of the most frightening and worrying car problems can actually be the easiest to fix.
One of the issues that people commonly face are dirty MAF Sensors.
The Mass Air Flow Sensor handles measuring the air intake in your engine. If the sensor is dirty and cannot measure air intake correctly. This means the ECU will not be able to dictate the required air/fuel ratio, resulting in poor engine performance.
A simple clean of the MAF sensor could have your car running correctly in no time.
Cleaning your MAF sensor is by far the cheapest solution to solving the problem and it’s very easy too. You don’t need to pay a mechanic to do this, I promise that even the least mechanically inclined can DIY it.
The common symptoms of a dirty MAF sensor is
- Engine Hesitates under load or idle
- Hesitation and jerking while accelerating
- Lumpy idling
You may also find that your engine management light comes on.
Personally My car threw a couple of codes and the EML came on. If you have an OBD scanner, that’s another way to confirm you’re having MAF sensor issues.
MAF Sensor Replacement Cost
Replacing the MAF sensor on most cars is easy. If you do need to replace it, you don’t need to worry about paying huge labour rates.
The real cost comes from the part itself. Depending on the car you’re buying it for, it could be as little as $30 or as much as $300.
You can reduce the price by going for cheaper, aftermarket alternatives but this is the last thing you should do. There are some decent aftermarket options, but more often than not you’ll have to buy twice.
If you’re on a budget and cant afford to replace your sensor with an OEM sensor, cleaning it is a much better option.
BEST MAF SENSOR CLEANERS 2022
Below is a list of what I believe to be the best MAF sensor cleaners money can buy.
If you’re in the states, the best cleaner you can buy is the CRC MAF Sensor cleaner.
If you’re in UK or Europe, I recommend buying the LiquiMoly Mass Air Flow Cleaner.
All the products listed below are great. You won’t find many differences between them. They’ll all clean your MAF and hopefully remove your codes and dirty maf sensor symptoms.
CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
If you’ve ever done any servicing, repairs or have ever been in an automotive shop, you’ll recognize CRC.
CRC offer superior quality products in the general maintenance and repair section. Their highly-specialized formulas are developed to solve your problems with ease.
This is why it’s no surprise that the CRC MAF Sensor cleaner is the highest rated on my list. It’s also the highest rated cleaner on amazon, which means many others believe in the product too.
It’s completely safe to use on all car parts and plastics and will help to clean the MAF sensor on any car of your choice.
What I love most about this product is that fact that it dries almost instantly, leaving behind 0 residue. Some of the other products take longer to dry, while this one is super fast meaning you can reinstall your sensor much quicker.
It’s recommended that you use this product every time that you clean or change your filter. But if you’ve left it too late, it should still remove heavy build-up, it might just take more effort and product.
This product is a no brainer to me, spending less than $20 to not have to replace a sensor. Depending on your vehicle, that could be huge savings.
Buy CRC MAF Sensor Cleaner from amazon and have your car running normal again in no time.
Johnsens Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
The Johnsens Mass Air Flow Sensor cleaner is another product that comes highly rated. It’s completely safe to use on both retro and modern vehicles, and can even be used on other sensors too.
It comes in the exact same bottle as the CRC MAF cleaner. Im led to believe it’s the same product relabelled by another company. If this is true, you’re better off buying whichever is cheaper at the time of reading this article.
It does exactly as you’d expect from a specialty electrical cleaner. It dries super quick, no residue and it doesn’t discolour your plastics either.
Providing you remove the MAF sensor from the intake and clean it thoroughly, there’s no way this product doesn’t work.
Johnsens is said to be cheaper with the 10oz can costing less than what the 4.5oz CRC option is. It’s a no-brainer which product to buy.
Berryman Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
The Berryman MAF sensor cleaner is another product that I like. It works the exact same way as any other mass air flow sensor cleaner, but, it comes with an extension tube.
Using the extension tube you’ll be able to spray the product into narrow or blocked off areas. The MAF sensor on my skoda is blocked by a honeycomb type cover & is held in by security torx.
As berryman claim in their descriptions, this product quickly and safely cleans all dirty maf sensors.
It’s fast drying and is designed for maximum compatibility with sensitive sensors and is completely safe to use on any plastics.
As for the pricing, it’s pretty much the same price as the rest of the products on this list. The 11oz bottle will set you back just under $20. The only problem being, you seem to need a little bit more of this product than the CRC one for example.
That being said, there’s not too much difference between the 3 products I’ve mentioned so far. I’d personally just order which ever comes first, as they’ll all achieve very similar results.
Liqui Moly Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
If you live in Europe, the products above are probably unavailable or take ages to ship to your country. This is because they’re all US products.
The best MAF sensor cleaner I’ve been able to find over here, is in fact the Liqui Moly one. This completely cleared my problems that I had in a Skoda Octavia 1.8T.
After saturating my MAF sensor in this product and letting it dry, I could say good bye to the rough idle and hesitation at around 3000 RPM that the car had.
On top of my great results, the 2,700 product reviews on amazon also swear by this product. saying that it worked a treat and does exactly what it says on the tin.
Again, this is another well priced product, setting Europeans back less than $15.
It’s a no brainer to try and clean your MAF sensor before you replace it. You can buy Liqui Moly from Amazon.
Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner Alternatives
Now, I tend not to recommend MAF Sensor cleaner alternatives, this is because even the best MAF sensor cleaners are super cheap.
Why even try to use another product when one specifically designed for the job is available for somewhere between $10-20?
If you still are intent on using something different, I’ve read most electrical cleaners will do the trick. The most recommended being WD40’s Specialist Drying Contact Cleaner.
I personally have no experience with this product and wouldn’t recommend using it over actual MAF sensor cleaners. Best case scenario it works, worst case scenario, you’re having to replace your maf sensor.