1991 Ford Taurus Ping/Rattle

My 1991 Taurus with 176,000 miles has developed a rattle/ping noise in the engine during slight acceleration at very low speed( like 5mph). I can hear
it when I slightly step on the accelerator. New spark plugs didn't make it go away. Could a sensor be bad or is this something worse?
Gig
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Gig opined in

Start by cleaning the MAF sensor.
Use procedure found in tech articles at www.tccoa.com
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One of those two resistive wires in my MAF is visibly dirty. I am guessing that is the reason why I had to go from 87 octane to 89 octane awhile ago.
At $250 a pop (OEM), I'm not quite daring enough just yet to try cleaning the thing.
I hate it when I'm reduced to the following retrospections:
1. "Did it work before you started screwing with it?" 2. "Does it work now?" 3. "Why did you screw with it?"
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

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Farley @nonymous opined in

1. They are not as fragile as they look. Think about service dept ham- handed mechs.
2. Look on the enthusiast forums for "Oh %^^&, I broke it!"
Bet you dont find any that resulted from cleaning.
3. So ... try the spray/blow-off (no-contact) methods first
BTW, I dont recommend Q-Tips... the cheap ones, at least, can shed. Go to Radio Shack and get the foam-tip swabs.
Rubbing Alcohol works just fine
Here's a thought... if you want to be really proactive and you have some degree of curiosity, go to a salvage yard that has a LOT of your car and get a spare - make sure the calibration matches. Practice on it.. and just for grins put it in and see what happens.
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