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Pelican Technical Article:

MAF Sensor Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$150

Talent:

*

Tools:

Philips, flat head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (2000)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)

Parts Required:

New MAF

Hot Tip:

Do not use oiled air filters

Performance Gain:

Better mileage

Complementary Modification:

Replace air filter

The mass airflow sensor (MAF) is used to measure the amount and temperature of air that is entering the engine at any one time. The mass airflow sensor senses the total amount of air passing the sensor and allows the fuel injection system to adjust the fuel mixture to compensate for cold weather and/or high altitude conditions. The MAF also incorporates an internal intake air temperature sensor which measures the temperature of the intake air.

The first indicator that you might have a problem with the MAF is the presence of a check engine light (CEL) on your dashboard. The check engine lamp can be caused by a wide variety of problems with the engine: you need to read the codes from the computer to get a starting clue as to what the problem is. However, the engine will not be operating at peak efficiency, and you will most likely experience a loss in power and a decrease in gas mileage as a result. It's best to get the problem taken care of relatively quickly, as running the engine in this condition can potentially cause damage to other components like the catalytic converters.

Vacuum leaks and other air leaks in the system can cause MAF sensor errors. If you have a crack or leak in your air intake downstream of the sensor, then the MAF will be sensing less air than the engine is actually receiving. You should carefully inspect all of your hoses, clamps and intake tubes for air leaks prior to replacing the sensor.

The new MAF comes complete in the air body housing so you will have to remove the complete housing to replace it.

Begin by locating the MAF sensor and housing. It is located on the right side of the engine on the tube that runs between the airbox and engine cover.

Disconnect the wiring harness from the housing. Squeeze the clip on the wiring harness and pull the harness straight back from the housing.

Use a flathead screwdriver and loosen the hose clamp connecting the flexible hose to the top of the sensor housing and wiggle the hose off.

You are going to remove the air box cover from the engine bay to remove the MAF so you need to remove the lower hose from the lid.

Next loosen the two Philip heads screws on the lid; the screws will stay attached to the lid even when they are fully loosened.

Remove the lid from the airbox and place it on your work surface. Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws securing the MAF to the lid.

The MAF is unidirectional but can only be installed one way and has a direction arrow on it. The sensor must face the incoming air.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Begin by removing the MAF sensor.
Figure 1

Begin by removing the MAF sensor. It is located on the large tube connected to the air box lid (red arrow).

Simply squeeze in the tab (yellow arrow) and pull it straight away from its housing.
Figure 2

Simply squeeze in the tab (yellow arrow) and pull it straight away from its housing.

Use a screwdriver and loosen the hose clamp on the hose attached to the MAF senor (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use a screwdriver and loosen the hose clamp on the hose attached to the MAF senor (red arrow). Slide the clamps over the hose and slip the hose off.

You are going to remove the air box cover from the engine bay to remove the MAF so you need to remove the lower hose from the lid (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

You are going to remove the air box cover from the engine bay to remove the MAF so you need to remove the lower hose from the lid (yellow arrow).

Next, loosen the two Philip heads screws (red arrows) on the lid; the screws will stay attached to the lid even when they are fully loosened.
Figure 5

Next, loosen the two Philip heads screws (red arrows) on the lid; the screws will stay attached to the lid even when they are fully loosened.

Remove the lid from the airbox and place it on your work surface.
Figure 6

Remove the lid from the airbox and place it on your work surface. Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws (red arrows) securing the MAF to the lid.

Remove the MAF (red arrow) from the airbox lid (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

Remove the MAF (red arrow) from the airbox lid (yellow arrow).

The MAF is unidirectional but can only be installed one way.
Figure 8

The MAF is unidirectional but can only be installed one way. The sensor (red arrow) must face the incoming air.

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