How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

Cleaning a MAF sensor to fix the P0171 trouble codeOpens in a new tab.

I have spent years and years in the garage so you don’t have to.

Follow this step-by-step guide and by the end of it, you will be able to clean the MAF sensor and fix the P0171 trouble code in your vehicle.

How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

What Is The Purpose of MAF Sensor

The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor is an important component in a car’s fuel and air intake system.

It measures the amount of air entering the engine and relays this information to the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU).

The ECU then adjusts the fuel-to-air ratio accordingly, allowing for optimal operation of the engine.

Ensuring that the right amount of air reaches the combustion chamber, ensures optimum performance and efficiency.

Additionally, it helps reduce emissions by providing accurate readings so that engines run as cleanly as possible.

Thus, its purpose is to provide data to ensure proper air/fuel ratio delivery to the engine for maximum power output while keeping emissions low.

It is important to get a faulty MAF sensor checked and replaced as soon as possible to ensure your car runs smoothly and efficiently.

Without it, your car will not be able to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio correctly, which can cause poor engine performance, a P0171 trouble code, and increased emissions.

Thus, the purpose of a MAF Sensor in a car is to measure air intake and provide data for optimum engine performance while maintaining low emissions.

How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

Can a Bad MAF Sensor Cause a P0171 Trouble Code

Yes, a bad MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor can cause a P0171 trouble code.

The MAF sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine and sends that information to the engine control unit (ECU).

If the MAF sensor is not functioning correctly, it will send inaccurate air readings to the ECU.

This can result in fuel trim issues, resulting in too little fuel being injected into the cylinders.

This can lead to an oxygen deficiency which triggers the P0171 trouble code.

Additionally, if there is dirt or debris on or around the MAF sensor, it may prevent it from operating correctly and cause a P0171 trouble code.

Therefore, if you are experiencing this issue it is important to check both the MAF sensor and its surrounding area.

If necessary, cleaning or replacing the MAF sensor can help clear the P0171 trouble code.

How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

If your vehicle has a P0171 due to a bad MAF sensor, I will show you how to clean it and fix the trouble code.

1. Gather the necessary supplies

  • Mass airflow sensor
  • Clean towel

2. Locate the MAF sensor

The MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor is typically located near the air intake of a car’s engine.

It measures the amount of air entering the engine, which helps to determine how much fuel should be injected for optimal performance.

The exact location depends on your car’s make and model, but it is often found behind the air filter box or on an air hose.

Make sure to consult the owner’s manual to find the exact location of the MAF sensor.

3. Disconnect the electrical harness

The MAF sensor is operated by an electrical current.

So, remove the electrical harness that feeds electricity to the MAF sensor and store it aside.

Make sure that the electrical harness is not touching anything such as oil, or water.

4. Remove the MAF sensor

The MAF sensor is held in place by two screws.

Grab a Phillips screwdriver and remove both screws.

Slightly pull the MAF sensor upwards to completely remove it.

Make sure to place a cloth or something in the hole so dirt and debris don’t get in there.

5. Clean the MAF sensor

Cover the part where the electrical connector is attached.

With a mass air flow cleaner, spray the MAF sensor until it looks clean.

You can wipe larger debris using a clean cloth in between. Do not use any brushes to avoid damaging the MAF sensor.

Also, make sure that you do not spray the electrical connector.

6. Let the MAF sensor completely dry

It can take up to an hour for the MAF sensor to dry out.

If you have compressed air, great. You can use that to blow out any remaining dust particles and dry the sensor faster.

7. Reinstall the MAF sensor

Slide the MAF sensor back in place and reinstall the two screws.

Then, connect the electrical harness back in place.

8. Start your vehicle

Keep in mind that the vehicle will idle rough at the beginning.

This is because the vehicle’s computer has been getting the wrong data due to the MAF sensor and now has to relearn everything.

Just let the vehicle idle for about half an hour.

9. Erase the stored P0171 trouble code

Once everything is back in place, hook up the OBD2 scanner and erase the P0171 trouble code.

If you are not sure how to do that, you can read this: How To Reset The P0171 Trouble Code After Repair In Under 5 MinutesOpens in a new tab.

How To Clean A MAF Sensor To Fix P0171 Trouble Code

In Conclusion

Cleaning the MAF sensor will fix the P0171 trouble code.

Grab yourself a mass air flow cleaner and clean the MAF sensor to fix the P0171 trouble code.

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Igor Iwanowski

I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018. I specialize in Brake systems, dashboard warning lights, EGRs, general engine problems, EVAP and Emissions issues.

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