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View Poll Results: MAF cleaner vs. Electrical Contact Cleaner
I use the products for their intended specific purposes. 7 30.43%
I use them interchangeably. 5 21.74%
I never use either one. 8 34.78%
What is a MAF sensor? 3 13.04%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-31-2007, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electrical contact cleaner vs. MAF cleaner

Hey, folks.

This seems to resurface in the various forums from time to time so I thought I'd post it out here for everyone.

A couple of people have raised the contention that there is no difference between electrical contact cleaner and MAF cleaner.

Most folks seem to conclude that there is in fact a difference between the two and you should use them for their intended purposes, not interchangeably.

I fall into the latter group for several reasons.

And in the case of CRC, which makes both products, they are not simply relabeled, but according to their MSDS they are chemically different.

So while I have no ax to grind here, I am just curious why anyone would just assume that electrical contact cleaner is okay for MAF sensors? Is it just about saving $6 or is there something more sinister (hey, it's Halloween..) at work?

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Greg - I had a check engine light/MAF light come on back in December. I figured what have I got to lose and used electrical contact cleaner to clean it since that's all I had on hand at the time. It's been over ten months and no problems and no repeat of the check engine light.

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Old 11-01-2007, 04:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't understand why one would use electrical cleaner for the MAF, both CRC's electrical connection cleaner and MAF cleaner are about the same price. I guess maybe because the MAF cleaner is a bit harder to come by, but why take the risk. Use the correct cleaner. It is like using the right tool for the job.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I voted that I never use either one (true statement), but I agree that if the MSDS sheets differ, I would buy and use both according to the maufacturer's directions.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Its called a wallet cleaner.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pillay View Post
I don't understand why one would use electrical cleaner for the MAF, both CRC's electrical connection cleaner and MAF cleaner are about the same price. I guess maybe because the MAF cleaner is a bit harder to come by, but why take the risk. Use the correct cleaner. It is like using the right tool for the job.
I agree. Why not just use Brakleen while we're at it?
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikmann View Post
I voted that I never use either one (true statement), but I agree that if the MSDS sheets differ, I would buy and use both according to the maufacturer's directions.


I usually the only place I get MSDS sheets are from my chemical supply company. Where do you get them for MAF or electrical cleaners? Not that I need one, but I would be interested in what they say.
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I used both cleaners on 4 sensors and the results are:
ABSOLUTELY ZERO !
Could save the money by using mentioned brake cleaner, or windex?
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pillay View Post
I usually the only place I get MSDS sheets are from my chemical supply company. Where do you get them for MAF or electrical cleaners? Not that I need one, but I would be interested in what they say.
Hey, MP, you got me, I made it all up.

Okay, I didn't, but I bet there are a few folks out there who were thinking that.
In all seriousness, I was curious about this and knew CRC was a very reputable company so that's where I started my inquiries. They actually have the MSDS available on their website.

That said I have used both and for their intended purposes, but at least as far as MB's are concerned, I agree with Kajtek1 and mlfun: I have yet to personally see MAF cleaner do anything other than clean out one's wallet. Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with Kajtek1 and mlfun: I have yet to personally see MAF cleaner do anything other than clean out one's wallet. Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
I went through this before MAF cleaner was available. I used everything I happened to have including Brake Cleaner.

Problem is, this is not grease or oil. The hot film in the MAF gets really hot. Any contaminants coming in that get through the air filter pass by the hot film (or wire). There they get baked on. No solvent will get them off. What is needed, is probably something like oven cleaner!

After trying all the solvents, I eventually bought a small and cheap ultrasonic cleaner. I tried it with just a water detergent mix as well as with Simple Green. I then folded some paper toweling into a narrow strip and attempted to rub the dirt off the film.

I had some success - I got about 6 months out of MAF after doing that, but one day while at dealer, I broke down and bought a new one! No CE lights now for a few years. Tempting fate by posting this!

I think that an industrial Ultrasonic cleaning followed by some mechanical abrasion offers the best chance of extending the life. Changing the air filter regularly probably helps too.

Funnily enough, it is the Bosch units that seem to be troublesome. The Hitachi units used on many other cars including domestics, seem to be relatively trouble free.
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