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[Corolla 2009] Cleaning the MAF sensor

3575 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Chris95
Hello everyone,

I want to clean the MAF sensor of my Corolla. One video I watched on YouTube showed that carb cleaner can be used, and another video showed that only special MAF cleaner must be used.

One Google search result says carb cleaner can be used, and another says no it should not be used. Another says that electronic cleaner can be used. :confused:

I have Shield Carb Cleaner that says on the can "Safe for use on oxygen sensors", but also "Caution: not to be used on plastic". I also have Herschell Electronic Cleaner that says on the can "It is plastic friendly with the majority of sensitive plastics and elastomers."

So, is the safest bet to use the electronic cleaner?

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> So, is the safest bet to use the electronic cleaner?

As a professional, I've used brake cleaner and compressed air to clean MAF sensors without any problems whatsoever. I've never used carb cleaner on them, and I don't recall seeing dedicated MAF sensor cleaners on the shelf at the parts store, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there.
First choice should be CRC maf cleaner. You can also use throttle body cleaner but it must say sensor safe.
First choice should be CRC maf cleaner....
+1. One of the safest cleaners I've used of any sort. Price per ounce is a tiny bit up there, but you only need to use just a little to get the job done, and only infrequently. That little can will last for years.

Well worth it, especially consider the cost of a MAF sensor and the continued good results if you apply a non-damaging cleaner.

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Use MAF cleaner to be sure. Any local parts store will have it. I have separate cleaners for carb, throttle, brake, electronic/contact, MAF. There is a big difference in solvents contained between all of them especially when applied to rubber/cork seals and plastic. I clean mine every time I check my air filter since it's easy.

If you can't find any MAF cleaner where you are electronic cleaner will probably be the next safest cleaner since I noticed they are similar and they both evaporate quickly and are safe on plastic and rubber seals.
Thank you for the replies. So far, I can't find any MAF specific cleaners, so I'll use my electronic cleaner
However, the question needs to be asked: why does it need cleaning? Are you cleaning it because you have heard it may need cleaning, or is there an issue? Some of the Toyotas, especially Corollas, had defective MAF sensors which leaked a tar-like fluid onto the sensors, insulating them and causing a lean-run code. If this is your issue, you need to understand that cleaning it is only temporary and the problem will repeat itself until the sensor is replaced. You can tell if your sensor is affected one of two ways: If the sensor when mounted is oily around it with no apparent source of oil; or, if when you look closely at the resistors inside the sensor they appear "hairy," yours is likely defective. Once cleaned, however, it will perform properly until it leaks and coats itself again. I don't know how long that takes. But as PVK stated, I also have used Brake Cleaner with gentle compressed air for years with no apparent ill effects.
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The Issue is With the Throttle Body Is that they have A Silicon Coating that Will be taken Of With Regular Carb. Cleaner. I know that Wasn't Mentioned but I can't resist. I have to ask also is their a reason or A Problem that makes You feel that You MAF. Needs Cleaned? They are Fragile and Unless it is giving You Problems then I would leave it alone. I know Auto Zone in My area and Napa both Carry it. It's made by CRC. I just wouldn't use it unless You really Have to. If You Do I agree with the Gentleman that said to Use the MAF Cleaner and Low dry Compressed Air After You Spray the Screen. Remember their are very Small and Sensitive Wires in about the Center of the MAF Sensor.
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