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Old 04-24-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Exclamation Cause of MAF sensor failure

I was talking to my mechanic about why the mafs go out so often on the boxsters. He enlightened me the fact that the sensors can burn off just about anything except silicone. He said the silicon that is on the road surface or directly from your tires gets sucked in through the air intake and sticks to the metallic parts of the sensors. This is what causes them to go bad. He also pointed out that the stuff I was using to make my tires look wet has silicone in it. I have stopped putting the stuff on my car. I even used to shine up the vents on the air intake. So if you are going through maf sensors this may be the cause. Thought I'd put it out there.

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Old 04-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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Well this is a new one and it doesnt seem far fetched, but technically every and anything other than air can mess it up...

heres a short list of things that mess them up:

Excessive Airfilter Oil
Road debris that makes it past the airfilter
Blowing your breath directly on the hotfilm.... that fogs its it up. Then needs to be cleaned with MAF cleaner spray.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #3
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Sure, silicone can easily cause an issue, along with dirt, oil, fuel and any number of other substances.

But, these things can also fail due to vibration, excess heat, voltage spikes, and on and on...

Add to this, that it also intergrates the intake temperature sensor which can also cause replacement even though the Air Mass sensor is still functioning fine.

Truth is, it's a consumable, just like Tires, Oil, Plugs, Belts, Hoses, OČ sensors and so forth. They'll never last forever.

They also degrade over time sending less accurate signals to the DME, while never triggering a CEL - it's values remain within DME tolerances, while not totally accurate.

Considering the high cost of fuel and such, personally, I'd swap mine out at 50k mi. regardless to ensure the car runs optimally and that I'm maximizing my Range (MPG) and getting the most for my high priced fuel $$.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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Stupid question. What is CEL ?
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:49 PM   #5
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CEL = Check Engine Light
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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Hehe duhhh Thanks !
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:14 AM   #7
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Makes sense to me, it all adds up...

I reckon you're on to something here - my second MAF went out just like the first one - just about 8-10 miles after a major detail which included wet-look stuff on my tires.

I put the stuff on from time to time but usually in the evening when I've finished washing the car and won't be driving it for the next 12+ hours (enough time for it to dry out a bit???) , both times my MAF has gone out it's been when the detailing (including a good heavy dose of shiny glop on the tires) has been followed immediately by a drive.

My theory is that some gets in through the intake after being flung off the left rear tire then take a little while to permeate the filter (and I've found a darker, 'wet-look' stripe on my old filter to correlate with this) before migrating to the MAF to cause havoc. It seems a bit like I'm accusing silicone of conspiring to destroy my MAF (and I'm pretty sure it's not sentient really) and I've nothing but circumstantial evidence to back it up. It does however suggest to me that I might be able to put up with dull tires, just in case.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:04 AM   #8
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Interesting theory. But. My air flow sensor went out a few years ago. I don't use anything on the tires or vents. Never used an oiled filter either.

Last edited by Tool Pants; 05-10-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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