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An interesting MAF sensor situation

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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
My daughter lives in Salt Lake City where the air quality has been awful due to smoke from fires and the geography of SLC. She drives a 2010 Mazda 3 2.5L with about 86K miles. She called me a couple of days ago and said the car was running pretty rough and almost stalling at stop lights. As a cheap first step, I suggested that the MAF sensor probably needed cleaning and that it was a simple DIY job. I also had her a add a can of Techron to the gas tank and fill it with a mid-grade octane gas. Low and behold though, every place she tried, even Amazon, was out of stock on CRC MAF sensor cleaner! I'm guessing that all of the smoke particles in the air are sticking to the MAF sensor wires and causing enough problems that there's a run on the cleaner! I did manage to find an article on how to clean the wires with an electronics cleaner which she could readily find. Hopefully that clears up the issue. Anybody else hear anything like this?
 
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Mazda CX-9 Signature
I would start with mechanical before electrical because I hate risk breaking a good working sensor.

Clean the throttle body plate first. And how are the spark plugs?
 
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'16.5 CX-5 AWD
That's an interesting theory, but you need to find evidence before acting on a theory developed from several hundred miles away.
Though, cleaning a clean MAF sensor will not hurt if the right cleaner is used.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
She cleaned the sensor and it runs much better now. Plugs were recently changed so not the issue. Proud that she could do it as she is not attuned to vehicles really. She's an MD, a Pediatric Urologist - this was her first successful "surgery" on her Mazda. :D
 

31N007

31N007
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Mazda Protege5
If the engine air filter hasn't also been looked at and replaced, that might also be a handy service item too.

Chuffed that the MAF cleaning helped.