Cleaning MAF sensor in Ford Taurus

I need to clean the Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor in my 1998 Ford Taurus. I have never done this before and do not have any experience with fixing cars. However, I want to give it a try as I read it isn't that
hard to do. I read some articles on the internet that describe how this can be done for the general case. I wonder if there is any manual from Ford that describes how to reach the MAF sensor and take it out (the manual that came with the car does not say anything about this). Also, I was reading some posts on a forum about this and some people owning Ford cars wrote that they could not take the MAF sensor out as it was sealed. Is this true? In that case I would not try and waste time on this. Or is there still a way to get it out? Any advice will be of great help. Many thanks.
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On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 18:51:24 -0700 (PDT), googler

I can't imagine Ford printing instructions in a manual to clean a part they would rather you replace. It's a loss of income to them. The only "tricky" part about getting a MAF out is acquiring a T-20 security Torx bit (not that hard). I'm not that familiar with the Taurus layout, but in the picture on this site about cleaning a Windstar MAF (http://www.berrysweb.com/clean_your_maf.htm ), you can see the MAF sensor is enclosed inside an intake enclosure. Not sure if it is on the Taurus. On my Crown Vic, it is on the side of the intake and readily visible. Make sure you clean it with electronic parts cleaner so that it will leave no residue. There are two important to remember. First, make certain not to break the wires. Don't try to touch them with anything, as they are extremely fragile. Break them, and the MAF is useless. Second, when re-installing the MAF, make sure it's seated properly so there are no air leaks.
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I wouldn't say they are extremely fragile. If they were, they would probably break from the high velocity air that blows past them.
I have cleaned my MAF:s several times, and I always use cotton swabs, first dry to get the loose crud off, then finish with some ethanol dipped swab.
It is easy to get the MAF contaminated with filter oil if you use a K&N type filter.
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You can buy MAF cleaner in an areosol can.
http://www.autobarn.net/maairflsecl1.html
Most parts houses have it.
Al
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