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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:59 PM   #1
bimrkid
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Accidently cleaned my MAF with carb cleaner...will this ruin it??

I cleaned my MAF sensor with carb cleaner....im hoping it doesn't get ruined, with 150K on it though ill prolly have to replace it soon anyway right??

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Old 12-05-2009, 12:36 AM   #2
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Carb cleaner is nasty stuff from what I've heard, but I only have experience with CRC MAF and brake cleaner (same active ingredient). I'd think the working parts of your MAF would be fine being that it's glass and metal, which are pretty chemically resistant, but I'd be worried if the carb cleaner was harsh on plastic, or left a residue of any sort.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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Not to thread jack, but where exactly on the MAF do you spray the CRC MAF cleaner on?
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Not to thread jack, but where exactly on the MAF do you spray the CRC MAF cleaner on?
Everything inside of the tube. Use liberal amounts. Plastic grills, metal screens, and most importantly, the wire/tube/resistor/electronic thingy hanging down into the middle of the MAF.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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I have used B12 Chemtool carb cleaner and that stuff is very nasty, I wouldnt be surprised if it melted plastic or made it very brittle.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:03 AM   #6
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I clean my MAF once or twice a year with MAF sensor cleaner. My original sensor went out around 40k...new one, now at 90k running(reading) strong!
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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Get the right stuff QUICKLY and clean the MAF again. Then see if your car runs right. The sensing element in the MAF is VERY fragile...so I fear the worst on this one.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #8
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Instead of asking for random guesses from random people on the internet for random answers, why don't you use the MAF and see if it is ruined ? Since you probably don't know how to clean the MAF anyway, I don't think it matters what you put on the MAF. The outcome would be the same: crap. If you have crap on the MAF in the first place, it makes little difference if you put a bit more crap on it. Somehow, believing putting some crap on it can get rid of some other crap on it is just plain foolish. Imagine if you have some crap on your floor, do you A: remove the crap from the floor, or B: spray some other crap on the crap and be satisfied the crap will somehow cancel each other out ? The principle for crap on the MAF is the same. MAF's are expensive to buy for a reason. These are lifetime parts if you learn to eliminate crap from it. How difficult can it be ?
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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carb cleaner shouldn't hurt it...
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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Instead of asking for random guesses from random people on the internet for random answers, why don't you use the MAF and see if it is ruined ? Since you probably don't know how to clean the MAF anyway, I don't think it matters what you put on the MAF. The outcome would be the same: crap. If you have crap on the MAF in the first place, it makes little difference if you put a bit more crap on it. Somehow, believing putting some crap on it can get rid of some other crap on it is just plain foolish. Imagine if you have some crap on your floor, do you A: remove the crap from the floor, or B: spray some other crap on the crap and be satisfied the crap will somehow cancel each other out ? The principle for crap on the MAF is the same. MAF's are expensive to buy for a reason. These are lifetime parts if you learn to eliminate crap from it. How difficult can it be ?
Lifetime parts eh? Guess the hundreds of posts about bad or malfunctioning MAFs is just fantasy.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:17 AM   #11
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MAF dont have a set mileage for replacement...so it is pretty much something that should last the life of the vehicle if taken care probably....the hundreds of post your talking about, im will to bet 99% have some kind of after market intake installed. If you stick with a oem intake you should be fine.

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Lifetime parts eh? Guess the hundreds of posts about bad or malfunctioning MAFs is just fantasy.
Carb cleaner will not damage your sensor....how do I know? I have used it before on my MAF by mistake....so OP connect your sensor..turn the car on...and report back to us.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:22 AM   #12
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curious what a new MAF goes for
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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curious what a new MAF goes for
Approx 350.00
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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is there anyway that if you let your car sit in the cold,that the MAF can freeze or the weather can damage it and your car will not start?
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #15
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The culprit may be after market air intake system/filter that fouls the MAF. On the Maxima.org forums, people have been debating and doing MAF cleaning with the CRF cleaner and I found out most folks have after market air filter/system or some sort. Usually the oil particles from those stuff foul the MAF.

I never ever needed to clean the MAF on my 2001 Nissan Maxima with 94k miles or my 2005 330Cic with 65k, because I only use the OEM paper air filter and don't mess with it.

Curious if we have a poll to see how many folks need to clean their MAF vs. having after market air filter/system and is there any correlation?
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #16
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Carb cleaner has toluene and acetone, MAF cleaner is mainly hexane. Toluene eats up many plastics, so I would not use carb cleaner on the MAF. If you already have used it, then clean it again with MAF cleaner.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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is there anyway that if you let your car sit in the cold,that the MAF can freeze or the weather can damage it and your car will not start?
the MAF is a heated wire element I believe, so it shouldn't freeze.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #18
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the MAF is a heated wire element I believe, so it shouldn't freeze.
This is correct. The MAF is a heated wire, part of a circuit called a Wheatstone Bridge. The same technology is used in many different airspeed measuring instruments. It will not freeze.
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