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The Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) is something considered to be an item that needs periodic cleaning. The sensor measures air velocity for the car’s computer to determine the right air/fuel mixture. The MAF can get dirty over time from debris, oil, air filter fibers, dust and pollen which can result in inaccurate measurements that causes a “rich” running engine, loss of power and excess emissions. A dirty MAF that gets cleaned typically results in:

  • reduced rough idle
  • restored horsepower
  • decreased hesitation+pinging
  • improved fuel economy

The good news is that this is an easy DIY! I'll be showing you how to do it on a 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc below.

Tools you’ll need:

Ready to clean the MAF?

Make sure the car is off and follow these steps.

Step 1
Raise the hood and locate the MAF:

Step 2
Remove the MAF connector using a flathead screwdriver:

Step 3
Remove the MAF using a T-20 torx bit + driver:

Step 4
Locate the MAF’s hot wires and make sure it doesn’t get in contact with anything except the cleaner (including the cleaner’s straw):

Step 5
Consider wearing safety goggles as an added safety measure and carefully clean the MAF’s hot wires with 10-15 sprays of the cleaner, allowing it to fully dry. Again, don’t let the straw come in physical contact with it and carefully spray it in there while letting the cleaner drain out the other end:

Step 6
Lubricate the o-ring sparingly with petroleum jelly:

Step 7
Installation is the reverse of removal. Re-install the MAF sensor using a T-20 torx bit + driver:

Step 8
Attach the MAF connector:

One final note: never use an aggressive cleaner like carb or brake cleaner to clean MAF sensors as it can damage these sensitive parts and necessitate replacement. CRC MAF sensor cleaner is a safe option to use on the Saab 9-3 or pretty much any car without a Karman-Vortex air flow sensor (according to the can’s instruction label).

Shop Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner

Shop Saab 9-3 Mass Air Flow Sensor

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Written by :
Alex Fiehl

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