Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner [4 Top Picks]

If you have a defective mass air flow sensor, instead of getting it replaced, it may just need to be cleaned. What are the best mass air flow sensor cleaners?

The best mass air flow sensor cleaners are as follows:

  1. CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
  2. Gunk MAS6-12PK Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
  3. Berryman 2211 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner with Extension Tube
  4. WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

Any of these products are great for cleaning your vehicle’s mass air flow sensor. They can dissolve grease and dirt and help improve the air-to-fuel ratio to restore engine performance. These MAF cleaners also help improve fuel economy.

Read on to learn more about mass air flow sensor cleaners, how to apply them, and more.

Also, take a look at our top pick, the CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner, on Amazon, to see its price and great reviews:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaners

mass air flow sensor cleaner

Below are four of the best mass air flow sensor cleaners to eliminate grease and dirt and improve your engine.

1. CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner is extremely simple to apply. You have to spray it onto the sensor evenly and let it dry completely before reinstalling it. It efficiently smooths out idle and makes the engine perform better.

If you suspect that your sensor is causing acceleration issues, remove it and clean it using this product. Let it dry and reinstall it properly. Start your engine and see how the CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner works wonders for your vehicle.

CRC, or Corrosion Reaction Consultants, was founded in 1958 in Pennsylvania. It initially offered only one product, which was the CRC Corrosion Inhibitor multi-purpose lubricant. Through the years, it has developed several impressive products until known as a supplier of specialty products and formulations worldwide.

2. Gunk MAS6-12PK Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Gunk MAS6-12PK Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner works great. Make sure to follow the instructions that go with it strictly, and you’ll never go wrong.

Its spray is convenient to use and efficiently cleans the sensor from a visual standpoint. It impressively improves engine performance as soon as you reinstall the sensor and start your engine.

Gunk is a family-owned business located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been successfully operating for over 60 years. Its products have been known as among the toughest cleaners and degreasers. It’s no wonder that it has earned the trust of weekend wrenchers, trade professionals, and car enthusiasts, among others.

3. Berryman 2211 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner with Extension Tube

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Berryman 2211 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner with Extension Tube quickly cleans dirty mass air flow sensors. It enables the Engine Control Unit to optimize the air/fuel ratio. Therefore, it makes acceleration smoother, power greater, and fuel economy even better.

This fast-drying formula is developed to achieve maximum compatibility with sensitive platinum sensors and plastic housings.

Berryman Products has been in the business for over 100 years. In 1918, its sole product was a patented tire sealing formula. It then expanded its product offerings, aside from the Berryman 2211 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner, including the Chem-Dip Carburetor and Parts Cleaner, B-12 Chemtool, and Brake Cleaner, to name a few.

4. WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

Click here to see it on Amazon.

WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner is generally used for cleaning electronic and electrical equipment. It is safe on plastics and doesn’t leave any residue. Therefore, it can be conveniently used for cleaning the mass air flow sensor.

This product is slightly less costly than some cleaners that are exclusively intended for MAF sensors. If you clean your car’s sensor regularly using this contact cleaner, it will not only prevent you from spending on costly repairs. But it will also prevent you from spending on expensive cleaners.

WD-40 is a company located in San Diego, California, and was originally known as the Rocket Chemical Company, founded in 1953. It is globally known for its household and multi-use products. As of April 2018, its products are being sold in over 170 countries.

How to Clean a Dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor

mass air flow sensor cleaners

If you want your mass air flow sensor to last a long time, you have to clean it regularly. Cleaning must be done twice a year. You can also have it cleaned every time you visit a car care shop for an oil change.

If you have a basic knowledge about fixing cars or cleaning their interiors, it’s possible to clean your mass air flow sensor on your own.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Remove the mass air flow Sensor
  2. Clean the mass air flow Sensor
  3. Dry and Install the mass air flow Sensor

Let’s discuss each step:

1. Remove the Mass Air Flow Sensor

You must first remove the mass air flow sensor so you can clean it properly. To do this, open your car’s air box. Then, pluck it out using a flathead screwdriver.

Remember not to touch any wire when removing the sensor. It’s not that they will cause electric shock because they won’t. But the wires are tiny and delicate. If you break one, it has to be replaced because you can’t repair it anymore.

2. Clean the Mass Air Flow Sensor

There are two methods of cleaning your car’s mass air flow sensor. The first method is by using rubbing alcohol. At the same time, the second method is by using a mass air flow sensor cleaner:

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Aside from the mass air flow sensor and rubbing alcohol, you also need to prepare a plastic bag. Make sure that the sensor fits inside the plastic bag.

Fill the plastic bag with rubbing alcohol. Then, place the mass air flow sensor inside it. Hold the bag in such a way that the contents won’t spill. Gently move it around and ensure that the alcohol efficiently removes the dirt and grime from the sensor.

Do this process continuously until the dirt and grime are washed away. If you think there’s a need to replace the used rubbing alcohol or there’s a need to pour more, you may do so too.

Use a Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner

Instead of rubbing alcohol, you can use a mass flow sensor cleaner. See above for our recommended cleaners.

Spray the cleaner onto the sensor. Make sure that the solution reaches all parts of the sensor. Make sure that the solution reaches all parts of the sensor.

3. Dry and Reinstall the Mass Air Flow Sensor

Let the mass air flow sensor dry after cleaning it with rubbing alcohol or a mass air flow sensor cleaner. Do not wipe it but, instead, let it dry on its own. Let it sit for about 20 minutes or so.

Remember that the sensor has to be completely dry before reinstalling it in your vehicle. Otherwise, it will get damaged.

Symptoms of a Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor

If your vehicle’s mass air flow sensor is defective, it can result in issues similar to low vacuum or low compression. It can also show symptoms that are the same as when the car has low fuel pressure due to a faulty fuel pump.

Here are several symptoms resulting from a faulty MAF sensor:

  1. Difficulty of starting the engine
  2. Stalling of the engine right after starting
  3. Engine is not functioning well while under load or idle
  4. Jerking during acceleration
  5. Exceedingly rich or lean idling

Signs of a Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor

mass air flow sensor cleaning

Here are several signs that your car has a faulty mass air flow sensor:

  1. Jerking, Stalling, or Hesitation During Acceleration
  2. Air Fuel Ratio Is Too Rich
  3. Air Fuel Ratio Is Too Lean

Let’s briefly discuss each one of them:

1. Jerking, Stalling, or Hesitation During Acceleration

If your car’s mass air flow sensor is faulty, it can result in too much fuel left inside the combustion chamber. This occurrence creates untimed detonations.

It will result in poor drivability, such as sudden jerking motions or other acceleration issues. You may experience this while cruising down a city street. It can also occur while speeding up on the highway.

These situations can be dangerous and result in accidents. If you clean your car’s MAF sensor regularly, you can avoid these occurrences.

2. Air Fuel Ratio Is Too Rich

If the air-fuel ratio is too rich, there is too much fuel in the combustion cylinder. However, there is not enough air coming in.

Here are some signs that your car may be running rich:

  • Check Engine Light turns on
  • Rough idling
  • Worse fuel efficiency
  • Black smoke coming out of the tailpipe

These problems typically arise if the wires are covered with dirt or if the mass air flow sensor is defective. It means that the sensor can’t measure the air flow correctly. Therefore, incorrect information is delivered to the vehicle’s main computer.

You can prevent your car’s mass air flow sensor from getting damaged by keeping it clean at all times. Regularly clean it using any of the above-mentioned cleaning products.

3. Air Fuel Ratio Is Too Lean

If your vehicle can run rich, it can also run lean. This means that too much air enters the combustion chamber. However, there is insufficient fuel coming in. This will prevent the mass air flow sensor from delivering accurate information to your vehicle’s main computer.

Since too little fuel comes in, it may temporarily result in fuel efficiency. However, your vehicle will eventually end up having serious damages.

The signs that your vehicle is running lean are the following:

  • Check Engine Light turns on
  • Difficulty in starting the engine
  • Hard engine seizures
  • Engine hesitation or surging

Again, this may be prevented if your MAF sensor is not defective. Keep your sensor clean at all times to prevent serious damages.

What Is a Mass Air Flow Sensor?

A mass air flow (MAF) sensor detects the temperature and amount of air entering your engine. It sends information to your vehicle’s main computer to calculate the sufficient amount of fuel perfect for all engine operating conditions.

If your vehicle’s MAF sensor is defective, you’ll most likely be required to replace it immediately. But it’s also possible that all it needs is a little cleaning regularly, which you can do on your own using proper tools and other materials.

How the Mass Air Flow Sensor Works

The mass air flow sensor works by first heating a platinum plate or wire. Then, it measures the required current to maintain a constant temperature as the air blows past it.

Oil and dust particles stick to the hot plate or wire over time. Those particles then insulate the plate or wire from the airstream. This then results in issues related to starting the engine, idling, acceleration, and even poor gas mileage.

In most cases, vehicle manufacturers will recommend you immediately replace your MAF sensor as soon as it becomes defective. But did you know that you could avoid buying a new one if only you clean it regularly?

Mass air flow sensors are not cheap. To give you an idea, some sensors cost roughly $300 per unit. But it can cost higher too, depending on the make and model of your car. So you should know how to take care of it and save your money for other important things.

Conclusion – Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner

Among the mass air flow sensor cleaners that you can use are the following:

  1. Gunk MAS6-12PK Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
  2. CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner
  3. Berryman 2211 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner with Extension Tube
  4. WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

Any of these products can be applied to your vehicle’s mass air flow sensor. They can dissolve grease, dirt, and flux and improve the air-to-fuel ratio to restore engine performance. Aside from that, these products help improve fuel economy.