Why Did I Write This Howto?
Many people seem to replace their air sensors (as suggested in the "stage 0" sticky) without trying a quick clean first. Air sensors costs upwards of $150, whereas the cleaning process takes 10 minutes, and costs maybe $2.
What is an Air Sensor
+ An air sensor may also be known as a mass airflow sensor (MAS), oxygen sensor (02 sensor).
+ An air sensor measures amount of, and temperature of, coming into or exiting your engine. This tutorial tells how to clean the sensor that measures the air coming into the engine. Air passes by the sensor after exiting the air filter.
+ It accomplishes the above task by measuring the amount of current required to maintain a certain temperature through a thin wire. The wire is exposed to the airflow.
Why Clean Your Air Sensor?
+ It's easy!
+ Dirt from the air and oil from a freshly oiled (new) performance air filter may contaminate the sensor.
+ A dirty sensor may cause a loss of power.
+ A dirty sensor may also cause an unsteady idle.
+ An unclean sensor can cause an unfavorable air/fuel ratio.
+ Cleaning the sensor is much cheaper than replacing it.
WARNING: This is an expensive part ($150+). This thin wire exposed on the outside of it is very fragile. Do not touch it, not even with a cloth. If the wire breaks, the sensor is ruined. Do not use carburator or brake cleaner in place of electrical contact cleaner. Do not dry the sensor with compressed air. Be compulsively careful not to drop it.
What tools do you need?
+A T-20 Security Torx driver (at least thats the size I needed, your's may vary) It must be a SAFETY Torx (with a hole in the center of the bit). A standard TORX T-20 will not fit the screw.
+Electronic Cleaner (also known as: Electrical Contact Cleaner. NOT compressed air)
How do you Clean the Sensor?
+First locate the air sensor. It is directly behind the air filter box. It is held in place with two T-20 Safety Torx screws.
+Remove the plastic wires and clip from the air sensor by squeezing the clip.
+Remove both of the screws and pull out the sensor being careful not to drop it, and not to touch the thin exposed wire.
+Liberally apply the Electrical Contact Cleaner (NOT Carburator or brake cleaner, they are too strong, and may leave a residue) to all exposed metal parts. Carefully spray the thin exposed wire. A little extra will not hurt, so if you're not sure where to spray, just remember the phrase, "Do her in every hole!"
+Allow the sensor to air dry (again, don't use compressed air). With my 'quick drying' cleaner, I allowed approx. 5-10 minutes to dry. It may appear dry before that time, but cleaner could have pooled up in an area you can't see, so wait the extra few minutes.
+Now, carefully replace the sensor by the same process you used to take it out. Make sure the screws are tight enough that they won't rattle loose (but don't overtighten, its only plastic). Remember to reattach the plastic clip with the wires.
+Optional: Start you car and burn an entire tank of gas while enjoying your new steady idle. Tip: Do so in a very well-ventilated area .
Congrat's. Your done.
Edited by pawn256, 14 April 2006 - 01:50 AM.