Disconnect Mass Air Flow Sensor: A DIY Revolution

If you take the fuel system of your car into consideration, it’s quite a complicated mechanism. There are a number of delicate parts, and the mass airflow sensor is one of them.

Now, for essential reasons, you may need to replace or clean this sensor to keep the fuel system alive.

But as it’s a part that connects both mechanically and electrically to the other parts of the engine, the MAF sensor removal process may turn out to be hard.

In this article, we’ll show you the steps on how to disconnect the mass airflow sensor with a few easy steps. Also, we’ll learn the consequences of it. Here we go:

What is a Mass Airflow Sensor?

A mass airflow sensor is one of the most vital parts of the fuel injection system of any car. It usually plays the role of determining how much air will enter the engine.

Also, it does another job of passing the data (amount of air injected) to the engine control unit. This is called the Air Mass.

The information regarding the amount of air mass is important for the ECU(Engine Control Unit).

Because it helps to maintain a balance and deliver the right amount of fuel to the engine accordingly.

So, if the mass airflow sensor malfunctions or gets out of order, that’s a serious issue that you need to take care of.

And in this article, we’re intended to talk about that with essential instructions.

How Can I Understand Whether I Need to Replace The Sensor?

How would you know whether you need to replace the mass airflow sensor? Well, before unplugging a mass airflow sensor, let’s make sure that your MAF is really troubling.

Check out for these symptoms in your car to do that –

  1. The engine is stalled shortly as it starts.
  2. The engine is pretty hard to turn over.
  3. There is hiccuping in the engine.
  4. There are jerkings and hesitations in the engine.
  5. The idling of the engine is excessively lean or rich.

If you find one or more than one issue from the list, you may need to replace/clean the mass airflow sensor unit of the engine. Let’s see how –

How to Disconnect the Mass Air Flow Sensor?

No matter whether you’re willing to replace the sensor or clean it, for now, you need to learn how to disconnect it from its place. Here are the steps for doing that-

Step 1: Park and Cool Down Your Car

Before starting the operation, you need to park the car on a level field and turn off the engine. The car is cool by itself.

Make sure that you don’t start the rest of the steps before the car is completely cool down.

Step 2: Find The Location of the Air Flow Sensor

First thing first, you need to find the location of the MAF sensor to disconnect it for cleaning or replacement. It’s usually located behind the air filter housing.

You can find that towards the rear side of your engine. The shape of this sensor is square-sized, and it is bolted with an airflow tube.

As the sensor has to be connected to the car’s electrical system, you need to learn the correct way to disconnect that.

Step 3: Trace the Air Flow Tube and Find The Connection

At this point, you need to follow the car airflow tube from the place where it started from the sensor housing.

You know, we’re following the airflow tube to find the joint between this and the car air flow sensor. After a while, you should have been able to locate the connection.

If you have a look at the connection, you will see it is bolted between the airflow tube and the mass airflow sensor.

Step 4: Remove the Bolts

Now, you need to take off the bolts from the joining point of the mass airflow sensor and the airflow tube.

You can do that with the help of a regular screwdriver.

Step 5: Find Electric Connections

As you know, the mass airflow sensor is also connected to the electrical system. The intention is to provide the signal of how much air is passed into the fuel system.

However, you need to find the joint between the electrical system and the mass airflow sensor and disconnect that.

For that, follow the MAF wiring harness that comes from the sector. Eventually, you will see the harness plug into the car’s electric system. And that’s the point that we’re looking for.

Step 6: Disconnect the Electric Connection

After you’re able to find the electric connection between the mass air flow sensor wiring harness and the electric system of the car, you need to disconnect that.

For that, squeeze the tabs in on the sides where the terminals are connected. Afterward, pull the terminals off from their place.

Finally, you have to separate the two harnesses.

Step 7: Lift the Sensor from Its Place

We are almost done with the process. Now, the joints are taken care of. Remove the bolts from their places with the help of a car socket wrench.

Now you should be able to take the airflow sensor off. In some cases, there are dust, dirt, and rust on the housing.

Before replacing it with another new sensor, you need to keep the place clean. You can use a penetrating oil or degreaser in this regard.

If you want to watch the video tutorial related to this, then this video may be the best solution:

How Frequently Do You Need to Change the Mass Air Flow Sensor?

The mass airflow sensor is an essential part of the car engine that has to go through regular workloads. So, it’s natural that it might trouble after a few months of regular use.

To be exact, you need to change the mass airflow sensor after every six months. To make it easier to remember, you may mark the time when you change the car air filter.

While replacing the air filter of the car, you need to replace the MAF unit as well.


If you are looking to disconnect the mass airflow sensor, follow these steps.

First, remove any wiring from the connector on your car’s engine block and shield it with a wire loom or shrink-wrap tubing so that no wires will be accidentally disconnected when removing the MAF sensor.

Next, use an 8mm socket wrench to unscrew both of the bolts holding down this connector solidly in place before pulling up firmly on it by hand until it is completely free from its mounting points.

Last but not least, clean off all debris around where your MAF should have been mounted as well as inside this area too before installing a new one if needed.

Follow these simple steps for how to disconnect a mass airflow sensor today!

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