A mass air flow sensor (MAF) is used to measure the air flow that enters the engine at any given RPM range and is monitored by the vehicle's computer to make adjustments to the fuel delivery and ignition timing.
When the MAF is in operation intake air from the engine passes through it which has impurities which are not removed by the air filter such as heavy air practical's. Over time these impurities cause a condition called "coking" which develops on the sensor "hotwire" which inhibits the sensor's ability to send accurate feedback data to the computer which can cause low power, low idle, hesitation and even stalling.
To have a cleaning service performed at a local repair garage or dealer the cost can range from $80.00 and $240.00 depending on manufacturer and the sensor location. If you were to do the service yourself using simple tools a shop towel and a can of MAF cleaner from your local parts store it would run about $15.00 which is all that is needed. The job usually takes about 20 minutes. (Note: do not use carburetor cleaner or any other cleaner due to the residue that is left behind).
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