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Old 09-13-2015, 11:23 AM   #1
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Mass Airflow Sensor

Ok...I've been all over the place on this forum so far. That's simply because I have no idea what box to buy. Some people I e talked to said that my first should be a cheap car and was your way into a Porsche.
Well...I drove a 99' base Boxster with 95000 miles today. He was asking $7700. It was actually in really nice condition. IMS was replaced, clutch is tight and he had all service records for the car.
My issue was while driving the check engine light came on. He said it's the Mass Airflow sensor. He had a diagnostic tool also and it gave the code for the sensor as well. Major issue? Keep looking? It's cheap and I can get into it easily at the price. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I snapped some pics so here is the car.










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Old 09-13-2015, 03:28 PM   #2
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Did he tell you why he didn't fix the issue before selling the car?
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Porsche.

MAF is about $200 new and is also cleanable as well.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:06 PM   #4
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Did he tell you why he didn't fix the issue before selling the car?

I haven't purchased it yet. Not in a rush to get one. It needs to be the right one but I'm weighing all options.
He said that his mechanic (whom I know and is exclusively a Porsche mechanic) said it isn't a major fix and won't effect the car in a major way.


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Old 09-13-2015, 04:55 PM   #5
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If you like the car and are somewhat serious, get a full PPI from a shop that you trust. Be sure to ask for a diagnosis and estimate to correct the CEL as part of the PPI (even if they want to charge a little extra for the CEL diagnosis, it will be well worth the money).

This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into and know what the issues are along with the costs to address them.

With that said, it looks like a great car and at that price you won't be able to beat the fun per dollar with any other car!
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:44 PM   #6
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If you like the car and are somewhat serious, get a full PPI from a shop that you trust. Be sure to ask for a diagnosis and estimate to correct the CEL as part of the PPI (even if they want to charge a little extra for the CEL diagnosis, it will be well worth the money).

This way, you'll know exactly what you're getting into and know what the issues are along with the costs to address them.

With that said, it looks like a great car and at that price you won't be able to beat the fun per dollar with any other car!

You took the words right from my mouth Thstone. For the money if it ends up lasting a couple years it'll be worth it for sure. That's why I'm willing to see what it would need. Cost of enjoyment could be super low. We'll see.


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Old 09-13-2015, 06:32 PM   #7
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no-name MAF's are $25, Bosche MAF's are $150.
And they are pretty easy to replace. I think the car looks great and with the IMS bearing already replaced, you have eliminated that concern.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by alizmi View Post
I haven't purchased it yet. Not in a rush to get one. It needs to be the right one but I'm weighing all options.
He said that his mechanic (whom I know and is exclusively a Porsche mechanic) said it isn't a major fix and won't effect the car in a major way.


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I'm surprised that a mechanic would advise someone, not to fix an issue that is causing a CEL. If something else was to cause an issue now, how would the driver know, as the CEL is already on. Get yourself a good PPI. If it's good, pull the trigger!! It's a nice looking car, and they are tons of fun!!
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:58 PM   #9
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I'm surprised that a mechanic would advise someone, not to fix an issue that is causing a CEL. If something else was to cause an issue now, how would the driver know, as the CEL is already on. Get yourself a good PPI. If it's good, pull the trigger!! It's a nice looking car, and they are tons of fun!!

I asked that same question. The seller asked the mechanic "if I don't fix it will it be bad". The mechanic replied it's an emission issue more than an engine issue so he decided to, save money, not to fix it.

I may ask the seller to take it in and have it repaired. Show me the receipt and the diagnosis that it was all good and then I'll reimburse the cost in the sale.


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Old 09-14-2015, 07:14 AM   #10
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replacing the MAF isn't a big deal. I cleaned mine at first but didn't last. Bought a no name and its been in the car for the last 2 years. Sounds like it has been taken care of and personally I would have had the maf replaced just to sell it more easily. I have a 99 with 83k on it. My experience is the cars can be cheap but the repairs are what will kill you. I do most of my own work. I couldn't possibly afford to pay shop repair bills.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:10 PM   #11
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replacing the MAF isn't a big deal. I cleaned mine at first but didn't last. Bought a no name and its been in the car for the last 2 years. Sounds like it has been taken care of and personally I would have had the maf replaced just to sell it more easily. I have a 99 with 83k on it. My experience is the cars can be cheap but the repairs are what will kill you. I do most of my own work. I couldn't possibly afford to pay shop repair bills.

Is that something that could harm the engine down the road? Should I be concerned. It's getting repaired but I don't know how long it was like that.


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Old 09-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #12
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Had the same issue with the car I bought, 2000 S with 83k miles for $8500. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Everyone on the forum talks about buying the best car you can afford, with all the issues fixed, etc. If you are not mechanically inclined thats what I would suggest. However on my end I'd rather buy a car that doesn't have things done and do them myself to know they were done right and up to my standards.

One thing to point out though, depending on the code it could need more than a MAF.

Also, your car should have the earlier MAF. My previous owner replaced the MAF with a cheap aftermarket from the later mid 2000+ cars and it kept throwing codes. Your MAF should have the flat bottom on it. The correct Bosch MAF for my car (and yours) ran $180 through Amazon.

And, looks like the driver side top velcro came disconnected from the support rail, as I can see the top cable on the one pic above. Easy fix as long as the velcro is still there and attached to the top.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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A MAF should last for quite a while. Replacing the MAF is easy, but I'll be more worried about what caused the MAF to malfunction, or what the malfunctioned MAF has done to everything else in the system downstream of it. I had a Honda Prelude with a bad MAF (bad wiring) when I bought it. It was running, wasn't throwing codes that often, but it destroyed all the spark plugs and the catalytic converter, as well as the EGR valve because the car was running rich for too long.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:25 PM   #14
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Mass Airflow Sensor

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Originally Posted by hancock1701 View Post
A MAF should last for quite a while. Replacing the MAF is easy, but I'll be more worried about what caused the MAF to malfunction, or what the malfunctioned MAF has done to everything else in the system downstream of it. I had a Honda Prelude with a bad MAF (bad wiring) when I bought it. It was running, wasn't throwing codes that often, but it destroyed all the spark plugs and the catalytic converter, as well as the EGR valve because the car was running rich for too long.

That is my exact worry. The catalytic converter could end up being a ton if it would be damaged as a result of the bad MAF.


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Last edited by alizmi; 09-15-2015 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:38 PM   #15
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Had the same issue with the car I bought, 2000 S with 83k miles for $8500. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Everyone on the forum talks about buying the best car you can afford, with all the issues fixed, etc. If you are not mechanically inclined thats what I would suggest. However on my end I'd rather buy a car that doesn't have things done and do them myself to know they were done right and up to my standards.

One thing to point out though, depending on the code it could need more than a MAF.

Also, your car should have the earlier MAF. My previous owner replaced the MAF with a cheap aftermarket from the later mid 2000+ cars and it kept throwing codes. Your MAF should have the flat bottom on it. The correct Bosch MAF for my car (and yours) ran $180 through Amazon.

And, looks like the driver side top velcro came disconnected from the support rail, as I can see the top cable on the one pic above. Easy fix as long as the velcro is still there and attached to the top.
I found the same Bosch on Ebay for $150 shipping included in price.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:09 PM   #16
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Hi. Nice car. I also drive a black MY99.

Whatever you decide with the MAF, also inspect the softtop. It's not folding correctly for some reason - you can see the material hasn't folded into its channel in the first pic you posted. It's probably nothing, but worth a check.

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