How to Reset a Mass Air Flow Sensor? (Step By Step)

The mass air flow sensor in your car needs resetting if you replace or re-install it. You’ve to replace the sensor when it becomes faulty or too dirty. After you replace or re-install the MAF sensor, you’ve to reset it to make it work. This is where we come in with our guide to when and how to reset a mass air flow sensor.

A damaged or dirty mass air flow sensor will cause your engine responding slower than usual. It’ll eat up more fuel and you’ll have to spend a lot more than what you used to spend. Faulty mass air flow sensor can even cause a serious accident in case you’re on the road and your engine’s not responding.

If you’ve got a car that doesn’t need MAF sensor resetting, you can just replace the sensor and start your engine. But, most of the models require MAF sensor resetting for it to work.  So, without further ado, let’s dive in to know how you can reset your mass air flow sensor.

When Do You Need to Reset Mass Air Flow Sensor?

If the mass air flow sensor is damaged, you’ll know it from certain symptoms your car will show. Some of them could be – 

Difficulties in Starting

The car will take time to start or will give a jerk while starting. A faulty air flow sensor fails to send air flow details to the engine, which causes this trouble.

Stalled Engine

After the engine starts, it stalls for a while before starting to work. Engine stalling might occur due to other issues as well, like problems in the spark plug. But, it’s pretty common to happen due to problems in the mass air flow sensor.

Jerking While Acceleration

Another sign that your engine will indicate a faulty air flow sensor is when you push the accelerator, and the engine will start jerking.

It might seem like the engine is hesitating to move forward as you push down the accelerator.

Hiccups in the Engine

Your car’s engine will show symptoms like hiccups while riding if the MAF sensor isn’t working properly.

It can cause severe trouble while driving and even turn into an accident as the engine will act less responsive.

Less Fuel Efficiency

The usual fuel efficiency your engine provides will reduce if the mass air flow sensor has gone faulty. It sends the air flow data to the engine to decide how much fuel the engine will require. If the sensor is defective, you’ll get less fuel efficiency.

So, if you’re experiencing troubles like these, you’ll know that there’s an issue with the mass air flow sensor. It might need proper cleaning, or replacement. After re-installing the sensor, you have to reset it.

How Long Does It Take to Reset Mass Air Flow Sensor?

To reset the mass air flow sensor, you can either do it by disconnecting the battery or disconnecting the MAF sensor’s harness. 

Either way, the whole process of resetting the MAF sensor won’t take more than 12-15 minutes.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Price of a mass air flow sensor varies depending on the quality. It may cost you $90 to $370 or more. The installation charge can range from $15- $200, depending on the place you visit.

Can You Replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor by Yourself or Need to Go to a Mechanic?

Replacing the mass air flow sensor is quite an easy task. If you’ve the basic knowledge regarding your engine, you can do it by yourself.

However, it’s recommended to visit a professional if you’re not confident enough.

How to Reset the Mass Air Flow Sensor

Now that you know when to reset the mass air flow sensor, let’s show how you can do it. As mentioned before, there’re two ways you can do it.

Resetting the Mass Air Flow Sensor by Idling the Engine

  1. Turn off the engine and let it cool down if you’ve been driving
  2. Remove the connector with the harness of the sensor
  3. Pull out the air flow sensor and clean it properly
  4. If you need to replace it with a new one, install the new sensor instead of the old MAF sensor
  5. Turn the engine on and leave it like that for 5-6 seconds
  6. Now, turn it off and connect the MAF sensor with its harness
  7. You’ll see DTC P0102 popping up on the dashboard
  8. Clean the memory and turn the engine on

And that’s it! Your new MAF sensor is ready to work!

Resetting the Mass Air Flow Sensor by Disconnecting the Battery

  1. Remove the old MAF sensor and replace it with a new one
  2. Before you connect the sensor with its harness, disconnect the battery from the ground cable
  3. Leave it like that for around 10 minutes
  4. The whole system will be reset now. Plug in the MAF sensor and turn the engine on.

Your new MAF sensor will start to work now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does My Car Need MAF Sensor Resetting After I Install A New One?

The answer resides in your car’s operation manual. A lot of the cars need MAF sensor resetting after replacement. But, some recent models don’t need it. You can do some research on it to know whether your car needs it or not.

Will It Work If I Clean The Old MAF Sensor Instead Of Replacing It?

If your engine is showing trouble, you need to replace the sensor. However, cleaning it and resetting it might work as a temporary solution.

Can I Drive My Car Without A MAF Sensor?

Yes, you can. Surprisingly, you might find that your car is providing a better driving experience without a MAF sensor. However, it’s not recommended to drive like this for a long time. Your engine’s lifespan will start to get low if there’s not MAF sensor. Also, you’ll have to spend more on fuel than before.

How Can I Increase The Lifespan Of The MAF Sensor?

Cleaning the air filter regularly is a way to keep your MAF sensor in good condition. You can remove the sensor once in a while and clean the whole part as well.


When and how to rest a mass air flow sensor? Well, do it after you replace or re-install the sensor.

Whenever the car’s engine shows troubles related to MAF sensor, you’ll know it needs replacement.

Don’t hold back to save some money. The amount of fuel your engine will eat up can cost you much more than you’d spend to replace the MAF sensor.

And if you know your way around your car, replacing the MAF sensor by yourself won’t be any trouble at all. Drive safe!

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