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Oh that dirty 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage MAF

MAF

Those pesky mass airflow sensors (MAF) are seemingly always the culprit when things start getting choppy under the hood. Although there are plenty of other things that can go wrong with your car, much of the time, if the symptoms are right, it's most likely the MAF.

Recently in the forums, user Stevewdf had a problem with his 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage, which he described as a "choke issue." The Mirage is not a carbureted engine, however, but a fuel injected one, so there is no "choke." There is, though, the (sort of) equivalent for injected engines: a mass airflow sensor.

While the issue could be several things, as master mechanic Big Block went through in a list of things to check, on the Mirage in question, the MAF is so easy to get to (and the near-300,000 miles an indicator of it as a primary culprit) that checking it first could save a lot of time.

So my suggestion was that when Stevewdf took his Mirage to the auto parts store to get a free code scan, he buy a can of MAF sensor cleaner, pull the MAF and clean it. He's already at the store and the procedure takes about ten minutes with minimal tools required, so it's worth a shot.

To get to the MAF on a 1996 Mirage, you simply remove the air filter, pull the filter housing, and there's the MAF. You can further disassemble things by removing a couple of small bolts/screws, but that's all that is required to get to the MAF for cleaning. Then you just spray clean.

Chances are that if this doesn't solve the problem Stevewdf was having, it would at least improve engine performance a little. Just be sure not to spray the electronics on the sensor, of course.

Read the diagnosis thread at this link and find a link to a video showing how to clean the MAF on this particular car as well.