When thinking of quality German engineering, many people’s first thoughts naturally turn to Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes offers the highest level of technological advancements and quality design within a stylish, slick exterior.
Naturally, like the manufacturer themselves, Mercedes owners take absolute pride in their vehicle. One of the most important and most obvious ways in which you can show your car some TLC is good and thorough maintenance. Good maintenance keeps your car running smoothly and helps maximize its longevity. In this article, we’ll be exploring the simple tips and tricks you can employ to help maintain your Mercedes’ MAF sensor.
What is a MAF Sensor, and Where Can I Find it in my Car?
Otherwise known as the ‘mass air flow sensor’, the MAF sensor in a car looks like a black cylinder with various ports and valves that connect to the car. Found under the hood, this sensor’s main responsibility is monitoring the air flow via temperature and weight as it enters the engine. This information is very important to the car’s onboard computer, as it allows it to deduce the correct amount of fuel that should be provided to the engine in different driving conditions.
Your MAF sensor may need some attention if you find your car is starting to struggle to start, idle, or accelerate, as well as giving a poor gas mileage where it did not previously. If this is the case for your vehicle, then your sensor may be past maintenance and may need to be replaced. However, if these issues are only minor, you may be able to employ some simple maintenance techniques to improve performance.
Maintaining the MAF Sensor
There are 2 main ways to look after your Mercedes’ MAF sensor: cleaning the sensor itself and inspecting and maintaining the PCV valve. Of course, as with any type of repair or maintenance under the car’s hood, if you’re not confident it is best to employ the services of a professional.
Cleaning the Sensor
Cleaning the MAF sensor is actually far more simple than you might think. As the sensor’s key function is filtering and measuring air, it can often become blocked or obscured by dust and dirt particles. Therefore, often a basic clean can help rectify minor running issues.
When the engine of your car is cool and the key is not inserted, unplug the sensor. Next, remove the air intake tubing, and then remove the sensor for cleaning. The sensor can be cleaned using MAF cleaner, which is a spray designed to gently remove the dirt and grime without damaging the part. Spray all over the entire module to ensure a thorough clean before carefully re-inserting the sensor into the vehicle. Make sure you allow a few minutes for any remaining chemicals to evaporate before starting up your engine.
Maintaining the PCV Valve
Standing for ‘positive crankcase ventilation valve’, the PCV valve resembles a typical pipe, and is a one way valve responsible for providing fresh air to the engine. The PCV valve works in tandem with the MAF sensor, so if one is poorly maintained, strain will be placed on the other, leading to increased risk of failure of either part.
The PCV valve is more simple to maintain than the MAF sensor, and you’re probably already taking care of the valve without realising. Regular oil checks and changes will help ensure the proper regulation and flow of the system. It is advised that after every 20,000-50,000 miles that you should replace the PCV valve entirely, a job which is usually reserved for a qualified mechanic.
Getting Professional Help with MAF Maintenance
If you’re not very hands on when it comes to automobile maintenance and you’re in the Hixson, Ootelwah, or Chattanooga area, then Bavarian Auto has got you covered! We specialize in German automobiles, so your prized Mercedes will be in safe hands.
With comprehensive services offered by highly trained mechanics using the latest and most advanced technologies, Bavarian Auto will have your MAF sensor working as good as new, as well as taking care of any other maintenance your Mercedes needs to be in pristine running order, and back on the road in no time!
* Mercedes-Benz S 500 image credit goes to: teddyleung.