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Old 01-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
e46CrispOne
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Unhappy Aftermarket Mass Air Flow Sensor

Hey guys, quick question, is there an aftermarket Mass Air Flow Sensor that is actually worth the money? I know its a pretty crucial part of the car (04 330Ci) but im also on a budget, anyone had any luck with a cheaper alternative to the 350 dollar OEM replacement?
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
WDE46
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No. For the 330 there is nothing. For the 325 there is a MAF made for Hyundai that is identical.

What makes you think your problem is the MAF sensor? You tried cleaning it I assume?

Last edited by WDE46; 01-25-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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I can say this, stay away from them.

You are correct, the MAF and pre Cat O2 sensors and the thermostat are the most critical items on these cars and need to be looked after. Regardless of what anyone says, MAF, O2 sensors and thermostats are consumable parts, they do not last forever and rarely hard fail. The soft failures and gradual degradation of these items is what makes them really hard to condemn and really say it is time to replace them. When these items degrade your performance and fuel economy will take a hit and start to suffer slowly.

MAF cleaner is almost like snake oil. Cleaning a MAF does little to improve its performance. If you are even contemplating cleaning your MAF, you should just replace it.

I have dealt with countless members on this and other forums that have been battling nagging problems and they often turn out to be a crappy counterfeit Chinese MAF from ebay or some other cut rate seller.

What I have been seeing a lot of lately owners will replace the MAF due to lean codes or other problems. The MAF gets a bad wrap all the time and it is the single easiest sensor to replace. Then the owner finds a deal on ebay, pulls the trigger and installs the ebay MAF and actually makes matters worse. It's not to say the MAF never needs to be replaced, just replace it wisely with a quality, name brand part. As they say, you get what you pay for.

I tell EVERYONE if you do replace your MAF, keep the old one. You likely can and will need to use it as a trouble shooting tool and if you get a junky MAF, you can at least get back to where you were originally.

In my opinion, here is my schedule for part replacement.

MAF & O2 sensors 75k miles. You WILL have to replace these sometime in the life of the vehicle, you could wait, however, if you replace these at 75k miles, it is very unlikely you will ever replace them again, but if you do, you will hopefully have another 75k miles of carefree and trouble free service from these devices.

Kind of like the fuel filter, I suggest 30k miles based upon all the black crap that I find in over 90% of the filters I have replaced and opened up.

As for O2 sensors, I only go with Bosch and for the most part this is also true of MAF sensors. I buy almost all of my Bosch 02 sensors on Amazon and most are around $50.

It seems there are more 330 issues due to the more specific MAF design and the fact that they are so expensive, so many owners opt for the cheaper replacement not realizing they are actually getting deeper into the quicksand and will have basically tossed their money away on a cheap imitation MAF, then to have to turn around and install the orignal back on the car if they kept it.

MAF, shop them around, but stay away from anything that is too cheap and out of the normal price range.

You can check pricing pretty easily with this tool - http://www.furiousmethod.com/
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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I have a 2001 330xi and a guy in our body shop division has a hyundai with the v6. his mass airflow sensor is the identical shape and size and also has the three wires going in too. I haven't tried swapping but its also made by Siemens just like ours are. they go for about 150 so if you want one thats not aftermarket that would be the one to try.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitrofed View Post
I have a 2001 330xi and a guy in our body shop division has a hyundai with the v6. his mass airflow sensor is the identical shape and size and also has the three wires going in too. I haven't tried swapping but its also made by Siemens just like ours are. they go for about 150 so if you want one thats not aftermarket that would be the one to try.
I though they only had an identical one for the 2.5L. That's cool if I'm wrong. $150 isn't bad.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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No. Get OEM VDO/Seimens
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Ms 45 cars use a completely different maf.
OP is out of luck. You cant use hyinday maf

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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they're both hot film air flow meters.....both three wire....both made by Siemens....both identical shape and size. are you 100% sure you can't use one out of a 2002 sonata? and how do you know?
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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they're both hot film air flow meters.....both three wire....both made by Siemens....both identical shape and size. are you 100% sure you can't use one out of a 2002 sonata? and how do you know?
You probably can. Are you willing to risk the $150 for it?
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Dood,

I went the aftermarket route....DONT DO IT!!!. It cost me more chasing ghosts and I eventually replaced it with an OEM and it fixed my issues instantly.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dmitrofed View Post
they're both hot film air flow meters.....both three wire....both made by Siemens....both identical shape and size. are you 100% sure you can't use one out of a 2002 sonata? and how do you know?
Ms45 cars have a different maf from ms43 cars. Ms43 can use hyunday maf.
How much more clear can it get


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Old 01-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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Ms45 cars have a different maf from ms43 cars. Ms43 can use hyunday maf.
How much more clear can it get


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What is MS45 and MS43?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:31 PM   #13
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The Siemens MS45 ECUs started with 03/2003 production dates in the E46. the MAF includes the Intake air temp sensor and has a 6 wire connector, 5 of them are used.

The MS43 ECU started with the M54 engines up to 02/2003 production. The Intake air temp sensor is in the intake manifold, the MAF has three wires connected.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
No. For the 330 there is nothing. For the 325 there is a MAF made for Hyundai that is identical.

What makes you think your problem is the MAF sensor? You tried cleaning it I assume?
Well I took it to a reputable german auto service place around town, (not a BMW dealer though), and he read my codes and it pointed to the MAF. I havent tried cleaning it though i have seen the spray stuff used to do so. Do you all recommend cleaning it first to see or is the fact that its throwing out codes a good reason to just buy a new one. At this point im pretty convinced ill have to buy an OEM one so where is the cheapest place for those?

Thanks alot for yalls help, i appreciate it alot haha
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #15
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MAF is rarely the cause of codes.

What codes did your car have??

Suggest you read the first link below in my signature for an idea of the problem areas these engines have.

The only way you can really condemn the MAF is by a MAF test that you use the engine and hot max RPM in 3rd gear and compensate for altitude, air temp, barometric pressure and then look at the full reading of the MAF.

Again, your current codes are not likely the cause of your MAF, once you can provide them, more guidance can be provided.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:06 PM   #16
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanneba View Post
The Siemens MS45 ECUs started with 03/2003 production dates in the E46. the MAF includes the Intake air temp sensor and has a 6 wire connector, 5 of them are used.

The MS43 ECU started with the M54 engines up to 02/2003 production. The Intake air temp sensor is in the intake manifold, the MAF has three wires connected.
Oh the ECU. Makes sense to me.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:00 PM   #17
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makes sense. I'm not sure about the newer stuff and I kinda missed the year of his ride. If its a three wire I'd say its worth a try but if its five then idk. I know the 2002 hyundai xg350 uses a 5 wire maf as well but idk if they used the same one as the e46.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:42 PM   #18
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No go on Bremi MAF Meter or? They're 100 bucks or more cheaper...
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:48 PM   #19
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Don't go after market. It had me chasing lean codes that didn't really exist. It was only the MAF
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:56 PM   #20
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To all that might be looking to replace a MAF, the most important thing is that it is designed for the exact same displacement engine. A MAF off of a 325 will not work on a 330 since the volume of the engine is different and the MAF signal will be wrong. I have seen MAFs off Hyundai engines that are OEM Siemens and look identical but that 6 cyl engine has a 2.7L displacement. This will plug in perfectly but cause all sorts of DME issues since it will indicate to the computer that either you have too much or too little air depending on the engine you plug it in to.

It would be nice to determine if there is an aftermarket source for a MAF that works properly and doesn't have a $300 BMW price tag. Ultimately the circuit concept of both the 3 and 5/6 wire versions is pretty simple so long as it was designed for the right displacement. The trick is to get enough POSITIVE feedback from success stories to understand the safe alternate brand.
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