The Average Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement Cost Ranges from $10 to $330 Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as air filter replacement, may also be needed. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your mass air flow sensor replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:
Cost at the Mechanic: $317 to $330
- Parts: $240
- Labor: $60
The mass air flow sensor isn’t a routine maintenance item, but like any electronic part, it can occasionally fail. This usually triggers a check engine light and either a P0101, P0171, or P0174 code. Use the FIXD sensor and app to find out for sure that this is the case. This is a fairly quick and easy repair for a mechanic, hence the relatively low labor cost.
Cost to DIY: $10 to $240
- DIY Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Parts Needed:
However, you can save even more money by troubleshooting the problem yourself. Upon diagnosing a mass air flow sensor problem, a mechanic will typically replace it to make sure the problem is fixed properly the first time. But sometimes the sensor is just dirty, and you can fix it yourself with just a $10 can of cleaner. For the minimal cost, it’s well worth trying to clean it before you replace it. Also, even if cleaning the sensor doesn’t solve your problem, now you’ll know how to find it, remove it, and replace it yourself.
What Is the Mass Air Flow Sensor?
Your engine requires a precise mixture of fuel and air in order to run at maximum power and efficiency. The mass air flow sensor (MAF) measures how much air goes into your engine. This enables the ECM (the computer that runs the engine) to calculate and add the proper amount of fuel. Sometimes this sensor can get clogged with debris or fail entirely. This gives the ECM inaccurate information and causes an incorrect fuel/air mixture.
Once the mechanic has the part, it shouldn’t take them more than an hour of work to replace it, so your car should be in and out of the shop on the same day. It may also be possible to clean your mass air flow sensor instead of replacing it, but it takes the same amount of time to remove and replace it, so your mechanic will likely just replace it to be sure it’s fixed.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace the MAF Sensor?
The first thing you may notice is your engine running a little bit rough, or perhaps not having as much power as you expect. Your check engine light may turn on. A P0171 code is common, which means there is too much air in the fuel/air mixture. You may also get a P0174 code, which is the same problem on a second cylinder bank if your engine has one.
If you continue to drive with a bad MAF, it could cause your engine to misfire. Ignoring a misfire could result in ignition failure, catalytic converter damage, and unsafe or dangerous conditions while operating the vehicle. Replacing the mass air flow sensor sooner rather than later will avoid these potentially more serious and expensive problems.
How Often to Replace the MAF Sensor
The MAF sensor is durable and has no moving parts, so it does not require regular replacement. However, you should be sure to replace your air filter frequently to ensure that the air passing through your MAF sensor is clean and free of debris that could clog this. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for its recommended maintenance schedule to see exactly how often you should do this.
Common Symptoms That You Need to Replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor
- Hesitation (when you press the gas pedal, the car pauses before accelerating)
- Loss of power
- Check engine light
- Codes P0171 and/or P0174
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with a MAF sensor replacement:
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Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.