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Thread: Z18XE MAF from Ebay

  
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    Z18XE MAF from Ebay

    Mass Airflow sensor (MAF) is essential for the good running of a modern engine. See the Wikipedia article for an introduction to the theory, a university lab procedure for details on the science behind, or a specifications sheet for examples of electronic diagrams and signal charts. I did not find documentation for the exact type of sensor I’ll describe later.


    MAF are sensitive to contamination from particles and fumes bypassing the air filter. This leads to driveability problems like hesitation, reduced power, and poor fuel economy, and might also cause lighting the “check engine” marker.


    New, non-OEM replacement units are offered for sale on internet (Ebay and elsewhere) for very low prices, but I found only little information regarding their reliability. For example one forum contributor mentions that such units last only few months after which they fail. A gentleman from USA describes how he replaced a defective MAF on his Mercedes Benz with a non-oem unit he ordered from China. The new sensor cleared the ECU error codes, and appeared to be good in several tests, but it did not solved the drivability problems, which lead to new and expensive repair sessions. In the end, after one year, the author decided to purchase a genuine unit, which immediately restored the engine’s characteristics. This suggests that some cheap sensors might generate apparently correct signal (voltage, frequency, etc. are in range), but won’t measure the actual air flow. When diagnosing an engine, this is even worse than a totally dead sensor.

    I decided to test a non-oem MAF on my Opel Astra (2001, 1.8 16V, Z18XE) and to post the results on the Internet. The methodology is very simple: I buy one unit from Ebay, I install it, replacing the original, working, one, and I see if it’s working, and for how long. I don’t have an oscilloscope or OBD2 scanner, so I can’t show any quantitative data.

    Here is the original MAF, from the car. The sensing element is of “hot film” type. Manufacturer’s name (SIEMENS), part number (5WK9 606) and GM code (90 530 463) are embossed on the body.






    The intake side is protected with a plastic grille and a wire mesh.






    The outlet side has a removable plastic grille, secured by plastic clips. If needed, it can be removed using two fine screwdrivers.


    http://www.dan-host.net/siward/maf_old_outlet.jpg



    Inside the barrel there are just three components: a thermistor (which is the intake air temperature sensor), and two thin glass-like blades soldered to a metal holder. Those are the actual hot-film elements. In my case they look pretty clean, so I won’t touch them.





    The new unit:


    Externally the new MAF looks quite similar. Intake and output sides are protected with plastic caps.






    Unlike the original, there is a code etched on the top side, and nothing on the bottom. No indication whatsoever of manufacturer or origin.





    Inside we notice some significant differences: instead of the high-tech blades, there is a plain resistor and an unidentified part. I have no idea of what it is, I can only guess that it might be a cylinder shaped hot-film element.





    I installed the new unit on the car without resetting the ECU. Surprisingly enough, the engine runs exactly as before, perhaps a little more powerful. During a short test drive I could not sense any misbehaviour. Therefore, I conclude that, out of the box, the non-oem sensor seems to be working - it’s not just a fake. This is not very relevant after such a short test period, so I’ll post new findings after I'll drive few hundreds/thousands kilometres.

    Thanks for reading!

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    apdentalsystem's Avatar
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    anybody has tested it for long time? is there problem or its running well ? please inform me, because i want to change my MAF.
    thanks

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    shocking quality of the internal elements on the flee bay unit. it will not last and IMO is a waste of money.
    Z18 ECU's soon take a dislike to non siemens/bosch sensors and tend to throw the EML on.
    interesting test though.

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    interesting to see how it turns out, very good read
    nice one

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    is there report for long time used?please let me know what is effect for ECU.because mine is broke one of hot wire (wire like film). any solution for me? my Zafira is Automatic transmition. after hot wire broke, the transmition won't change, so i change it manually 1-2-3-D. please help

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    I drove with the ebay MAF for 9.5 months (Jul. 2009 - Apr. 2010), about 7800Km. Driveability was fine, no bad symptoms at all, no EML light, maybe fuel consumption was a a bit high. I passed MOT in December with no problems.

    However, in April I checked the engine with a OBD scanner, and some air-flow related values (esp. long term fuel trim) were quite much off. Then I inspected the MAF - all soldering points were covered by corrosion, and the components were looking bad, so I installed back the old OEM sensor.

    The main conclusion is that "cheap" MAFs are low quality and I recommend to be avoided. Even though you might get the engine running on one of them, it's a lottery and eventually you'll run into trouble. It's much better to budget for a brand name sensor.

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    nice report. i will order OEM MAF for safety in my car. how about OEM Used MAF on ebay? because its low price value? thanks for your report my friend.

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    You can buy used MAF on ebay, but I wouldnt bother. You dont know if used ones are still working probably or how much life they have left in them.
    Although more money, would get a new MAF, I got one last week from LMF cost around £70 (inc. VAT, & delivery) and came next day.
    Disclaimer - some of the above text may actually be sarcasm (believe it or not!)

    Astra 02, SRi 1.8i - Irmscher'd up (a bit) with Zebra front bumper


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    @iain863
    Can you confirm that the one you got for £70 from LMF is an original Siemens OEM part?

    I recently bought a 2002 1.8 Zafira which previously had the MAF replaced with a non-OEM one. The engine light is on and it has some cold starting issues.

    Here is what the sensors look like in mine:



    It looks like the hot wire is actually a very fine spring.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by apdentalsystem View Post
    is there report for long time used?please let me know what is effect for ECU.because mine is broke one of hot wire (wire like film). any solution for me? my Zafira is Automatic transmition. after hot wire broke, the transmition won't change, so i change it manually 1-2-3-D. please help
    my zafira automatic transmission in 2004. experiencing the same problem as your zafira. and I've tried to swap Siemens MAF sensor but no change is good. this time I was very confused. tech II said the problems at the IAT. please help all of you what I have to do. or should I try a new MAF sensor again. thank you

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