How to Replace a Mass Airflow Sensor in a 98 VW Passat

Written by william hirsch
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How to Replace a Mass Airflow Sensor in a 98 VW Passat
You need only a few simple tools to replace the Passat's MAF sensor. (Screwdriver image by Yuri Tuchkov from

The mass air flow, or MAF, sensor inside your 1998 Volkswagen Passat is an electrically powered device that constantly monitors the amount of air entering the engine. The MAF sensor sends air flow data to the Passat's on-board computer, which in turn regulates the amount of fuel to mix with the air during the combustion process in the engine. Replacing an old or faulty MAF sensor will result in increased performance and better fuel economy. The MAF sensor attaches to the 5-inch diameter air cleaning intake hose that connects to the air filter containment box.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Crescent wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Use a crescent wrench to disconnect the negative terminal of the car's battery to prevent accidental shock while working.

  2. 2

    Unplug the small intake hose that connects to the MAF sensor with a firm tug.

  3. 3

    Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts on the circular clamp that holds the MAF sensor to the air intake hose.

  4. 4

    Remove the two screws that hold the rear of the MAF sensor to the circular metal ring, which is the fuel distributor. Separate the mass air flow sensor from the fuel distributor.

  5. 5

    Remove the mounting bolts that hold the MAF sensor to the air intake hose with a socket wrench. Detach the old MAF sensor and set it aside.

  6. 6

    Adhere the new MAF sensor to the air intake hose with the removed bolts, then replace the fuel distributor ring to the rear of the sensor. Replace the screws that connect the MAF sensor to the fuel distributor.

  7. 7

    Tighten the circular clamp on the intake hose and plug the small hose back into the MAF sensor. Reconnect the negative battery.

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