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Toyota Corolla Mass Air Flow Explained

Toyota Corolla

An internal combustion engine requires the right mixture of air and fuel to run smoothly and at maximum efficiency. A Toyota Corolla mass air flow sensor plays an important part in detecting the flow of air to the engine to allow the on-board computer to calculate the optimal output from the fuel injection system.

Find out more about how this sensor works and the symptoms of a bad mass air flow sensor in a Toyota Corolla.

How Does a MAF Sensor Work?

The MAF sensor monitors the rate of airflow through the air filter into the intake manifold of the engine in a Toyota Corolla.

An electrically heated wire and temperature sensor detects how much current is needed to maintain a temperature well over 100 degrees. The current is proportional to airflow.

Digital signals emitted by a MAF sensor enable the engine computer to calculate the optimal ratio of air to fuel.

This sensor enables the engine to operate efficiently and also determine shift points for an automatic transmission. If this sensor is contaminated or faulty, inaccurate readings will negatively affect engine operation.

What Happens When a MAF Sensor Malfunctions?

A MAF sensor is constantly exposed to high heat and, like other Toyota Corolla parts, the element may wear down over time.

Without accurate air flow readings, an engine may experience difficulty starting or become prone to stalling.

If the engine starts and runs, a drive may notice a lack of power, weak acceleration, or irregular shifting in an automatic transmission.

A faulty MAF sensor can cause the Check Engine light to turn on. Diagnostic testing may return error code P0101 MAF Circuit Range/Performance. Other error codes associated with this sensor include P0100 MAF Circuit Malfunction, P0102 MAF Circuit Low, P0103 MAF Circuit High or P0104 MAF Circuit Intermittent.

Inaccurate sensor readings could result in a P0171 System Too Lean (Bank 1) or a P0174 System Too Lean (Bank 2) error code.

How Do You Clean a Toyota Corolla MAF Sensor?

In order to clean a MAF sensor, it is necessary to disconnect the electrical connection. Remove two screws with a Phillips Head screwdriver and lift the sensor up out of the airbox.

Use a specialized mass airflow filter cleaning spray to dislodge dirt and debris from the wire elements on the side and inside the sensor housing.

Allow the sensor to dry prior to reinstallation.

How Do You Replace a Toyota Corolla MAF Sensor?

Order the right replacement MAF sensor for a year model or submodel of Toyota Corolla. These parts range in price from around $70 up to $150 or more.

Disconnect the electrical connection, remove the screws, and extract the old part. Insert the new sensor and tighten the screws.

If a Toyota Corolla is not running smoothly or a diagnostic test returns error code P0101, it may be necessary to clean or replace the MAF sensor.

This repair is not difficult to do with a specialized cleaner or replacement part. A functional MAF sensor is necessary for the engine to run at optimal efficiency.

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