Cleaning The Maf Sensor on a Mazda3
This article will show you how to clean a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor on a 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Mazda 3 (first generation). Photo's show my 2005 Mazda 3 2.3L, but this generally applies to all models. The MAF sensor may just be in a slightly different location like the one Cam shows in the comments for his Mazda 3 TS 1.6 from the UK.
The MAF sensor is used to measure intake air volume for use in calculations to determine fuel and timing.
Over time particles in the air build up on the MAF sensor wire, and need to be cleaned off. Cleaning them is very quick and painless, just be sure to use the proper chemicals.
Note: Just a warning for other car models. If your car has a Karman Vortex style MAF, it cannot be cleaned. Karman Vortex MAF's are constructed quite differently and are generally easy to identify. They are used on Toyota Supra Turbos, Mitsubishi and most Lexus vehicles.
Remove the Battery Box Top
To get the MAF, you'll need to remove the Battery vent tube, which is held in place by the battery box's cover.
Remove Battery Vent Tube
Remove the side trim that fastens to the battery vent tube.
Remove the battery vent. You'll now have direct access to the MAF sensor.
Remove Mass Air Flow Sensor
Disconnect the MAF sensor from the wire harness. Press down on the end of the clip, and pull the connector away from the MAF sensor.
Remove the 2 Phillips head Screws holding the MAF in the intake tubing.
Remove the MAF
Cleaning The Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor
Locate the sensitive hot-wire anemometers inside the MAF sensor housing.
Spray your MAF sensor cleaner directly on the hot-wire anemometers. A few quick blasts should be sufficient. Eye protection would be a good idea as the little passages can direct the cleaner right back at you.
Do not touch the wires with anything except cleaner spray.
You can also spray the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor and wire harness connector pins.
Install The MAF Sensor
Simply re-connect the wire harness and slide the MAF back into the intake. Take care not to knock any dirt into the intake hole.
Reinstall the screws for the MAF sensor.
Reassemble the rest of the parts you had to remove to get here. Don't forget to re-install the battery vent tube, battery box top, and the plastic trim piece on the side.