mustang question

I am in North Carolina and have a nephew visiting from Maryland. He has a 2000 mustang coupe, 6 cyl, 3.8. Says for several weeks the check engine light has stayed on. Ford dealer in his area charges to much for diagnostic,
auto zone ran test saying air flow sensor needs replaced. Question is, is this expensive, can he replace this himself. Also, is there a way to reset light to make it go off. Car runs fine, no problems, just annoying that light stays on constantly. Appreciate any info.
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I am in North Carolina and have a nephew visiting from Maryland. He has a 2000 mustang coupe, 6 cyl, 3.8. Says for several weeks the check engine light has stayed on. Ford dealer in his area charges to much for diagnostic, auto zone ran test saying air flow sensor needs replaced. Question is, is this expensive, can he replace this himself. Also, is there a way to reset light to make it go off. Car runs fine, no problems, just annoying that light stays on constantly. Appreciate any info.
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The air flow sensor (aka MAF meter) has two elements in it that heat up and cool down based on the air flowing through the meter. The resistance of these elements change with their temperature. They will get a fine coat of dirt on them over time and will typically cause the meter to read less air than actually gets drawn through it. This in turn can cause detonation (pinging) and might cause computer codes to be tripped. It is easy and cheap to clean the elements. Get a few Q-Tips and a can of brake cleaner. It is important to use brake cleaner as it leaves no residue behind after it drys. Spray the elements liberally with the cleaner from both sides. Then soak the Q-Tip end with cleaner and VERY GENTLY rub the elements. Try not to leave any cotton fibers on the elements. Then hose them down again with the cleaner from both sides and reinstall the MAF. BTW, the MAF meter is located between the throttle body and the air filter box. I can't tell you how many times mechanics will just throw away a perfectly good MAF and charge $300 for a new one when 10 minutes, a couple of Q-Tips and a $2 can of brake cleaner would have fixed the problem. While you're cleaning the MAF disconnect the battery for 20-30 minutes. This clears all the fuel trim data it has stored based on input from the dirty MAF sensor. It will need to re-learn this data again with input from the cleaned MAF.
Jerry wrote:

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Jerry,
Listen to Michael. That was a good post.
John

a
diagnostic,
is
reset
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Thanks for the reply. You explained where this sensor is located, but not being familiar with Ford engines, is there any place on the web that would show a diagram of this, exactly what it looks like. Thanks again
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Here's a link for a Mustang with a V-8 engine but it should be about the same procedure for a V-6. http://www.bullittarchive.com/Maintenance/maf/ They removed the element from the MAF housing. This works too and might be easier than what I described. You'll need a Torx socket though.
Jerry wrote:

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Thanks a lot. 6 cyl is little different, but know what I'm looking for. Appreciate all the help. Nephew is not familiar with newsgroups. and he is amazed at info available. Thanks
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If he is into Mustangs you should let him know about the Mustang news group rec.autos.makers.ford.mustang There's allot of good knowledgeable people there that can give him good advice.
Jerry wrote:

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Jerry opined in

Ah... so he's a long-time AOL subscriber, then!
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Look for the device with wires plugged into it. Just follow the air duct back from the filter housing and you'll find it. John

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If the 'check' engine' light is illuminated it indicates the microprocessor is detecting the fuel/air ratio is operating outside of it design parameters and could be polluting. A related problem should therefore be covered under the warranty. Take the vehicle to a dealer, WBMA.
mike hunt
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