How to Clean the Mass Air Flow Sensor on a Mazda

Updated February 21, 2017

The mass air flow sensor is an integral part that helps your Mazda run efficiently and smoothly. This sensor converts the amount of air flow in the engine compartment into a signal that is then used to calculate how much fuel to use, when to fire the cylinder and when your car will automatically shift the transmission. When they become dirty or clogged, your engine will run rough. You can clean the mass air flow sensor on a Mazda easily, but you must exercise great care in handling the unit to avoid damaging it.

Locate your mass air flow sensor. It will be between your intake and fuel injection system. It is most easily recognised by the plastic vent covering its face that will be turned towards the front of the engine. It will also be located on the top side of the engine. Disconnect the wiring harness at the sensor by pulling apart the two black plastic connectors.

Using a flathead of Phillips screwdriver (depending on the screw end of the clamp), loosen the clamps on the hose that's connected to the sensor, then disconnect the hose.

Use a 10 mm socket and remove the bolt holding the sensor casing to the housing.

Carefully pull the mass air flow sensor from the housing. Attach a small spray straw to a can of CRC cleaner and spray the sensor. Be careful not to come closer than an inch to the sensor, and make sure you spray through the vent cover as well. Spray all the parts of the sensor repeatedly--about 15 times--to make sure they are cleaned well.

Re-install your mass air flow sensor into the housing and reattach the plastic cover, hose and wiring harness.


To err on the side of caution, spray more cleaner but from a distance of two to three inches to make sure you do not damage any of the parts of the sensor.


Near the bottom of the sensor is a short black wire. Do not touch or remove this wire, as it is a fragile, calibrated connection and can become easily damaged. Use great care when spraying the connections of this wire.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket set
  • CRC mass air flow sensor cleaner
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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.