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Old 11-01-2003, 12:36 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1
Bad Maf Sensor - What to do

Have 1998 80k miles. I have replaced the Maf sensor twice and looks like its gone bad again.

When replacing second time checked airfilter and noticed small holes in filter. So I replaced filter and MAF sensor worked fine for about a year.

It seems that it takes about a year for the MAF sensor to go bad each time I change it.

Same erratic idle back again. I tried cleaning with alcohol and air, Definitly improved but still will occaisionally die when coming to a stop.


1. Whats the cheapest I can find this. One internet site had it for $265.00

2. Is there a better way to clean it.

3. Besides the air filter is there something else that can cause this failure.

4. Is this unit interchangeable with VW MAF sensor(lot cheaper).

5. Why would anybody in there right mind ever buy a Mercedes. After looking in consumer reports again they are terrible in reliabiltiy for their electric. I'm done with them.

If anybody has any idea's I would appreciate the help.

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Old 11-01-2003, 01:06 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: S.F. Bayarea
Posts: 196
Answer to #5,

I'm in the same boat. Wife's car, 98 C280 one owner, 36K miles with check engine lite on. Shame on the fellow engineers who designed such a car. MB diesel is much better.
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Old 11-01-2003, 08:43 AM
steve hutson
Posts: n/a
Just had the MAF sensor replaced on my 99E300Turbodiesel at 48k. My tech suggested that the high failure rate for this item is partially due to the extended service interval (FSS) for the newer cars and he recommends a new air filter at a much shorter interval depending on driving conditions. In certain parts of Texas, that could mean twice a year due to the sand in the air. According to my tech, any dirt or sand that gets by the filter blasts the fine metal grid of the MAF, rendering it useless.
Also pretty useless is the FSS.
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:28 AM
aTOMic's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA, Earth
Posts: 451
Welcome! Sorry to hear you are having such problems.
Regarding the cost of the part, call Phil at the 800# for Partsshop (link at top of page) they can usually match anyone's price AND you support this site! They ship QUICK, too and have a wonderful returns policy (believe me I have used it enough)

Maybe you should try another brand of filter, I have faith in the Mann brand sold at Phil can order this for you too.

Good luck and keep us posted,
RIP "Betsy" (Oo=*=oO)
'96 E 3 2 0 (W 2 1 0) M 1 0 4

Spaces in sig so as not to screw up the SEARCH; every time someone searches for that MB they don't want my sig!

2004 Audi A8L
'98 VW Passat 1.8T 5M
'87 Alfa Romeo Milano 2.5L 5M
'67 Impala convertible, 327cid
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:58 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 699
Dear firepro:

1) Do never use K&N air filters in a modern engine (with MAF) because the oil emanating from it will kill the MAF. Use only OEM air filters.

2) Japanese are 10x better than Germans in designing electronics stuff. Have you ever seen Germany-made computers or consumer electronics in the US? Lots of my friends drive recent Honda Accord or Toyota Camry but have never gotten any MAF-related problems. They are the kind of people who would never open the hood to check for anything, except taking their cars to shops for scheduled engine oil changes.

3) Many people on this forum (especially Mr. LarryBible and some other die-hard MB afficionados) really hate Japanese cars for having timing belts instead of timing chains, but I have to tell you that replacing timing belts + water pumps on Japanese cars only costs around $200-300 (labor + parts) in many Asian shops in California. These shops are usually much cheaper than dealerships or indie shops owned by white Americans. So my friends just have to replace timing belts + water pumps every 120Kmiles and they're ready to go at least another 100Kmiles or much more without any major problem. BTW, the only reason they replace water pumps is to save labor cost at the same time when doing a timing belt change. Water pumps on Japanese cars surprisingly last much longer than those found on German cars (MB, VW and BMW).

4) I think the only exceptionally good thing about Mercedes cars is that their body structure integrity and suspension seem to be quite better than Japanese cars when they are both old and have high mileage. I feel very safe sitting in even a very old Mercedes.

The above-mentioned things (1,2,3) do not apply for old Mercedes diesel cars. I always love them because of their legendary robustness and reliability.

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Old 11-01-2003, 03:37 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 512
I heard the tricks to a longer-lived MAF sensor are...

1-change the air filter more often than usual
2-while you're in there, thoroughly clean out all the dust, leaves, or whatever sitting under the filter.

1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230

Last edited by Michael K; 11-01-2003 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:00 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I'm touching some Zebrano wood while I type this...

I change the engine air filter with every other oil change, and carefuly clean out the airbox. I use only the OE filter. If I take a highway trip and get lots of dust, bugs, etc on the front, I figure lots made it underhood, so I change the filter asap.

No AMM failure yet.

As to the Japanese cars, I know more than a few Honda and Toyota owners with AMM problems and the part is much more expensive than the MB part. Current emission regs call for a very sensitive AMM, and they seem to be pretty delicate, regardless of make.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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