The Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) on some vehicles can be cleaned to bring back lost performance, fuel economy, and idle quality. We usually find dirty mass air flow sensors on vehicles with neglected air filters and vehicles operated in dusty environments. Fine particles get past the air filter and stick to the sensor elements. This dirt can cause skewed readings back at the computer.
From our experience, many Ford models can benefit from occasional cleaning. Not all mass air flow sensors benefit from cleaning and not all vehicles have mass air flow sensors. Note the tamper proof screws holding the sensor to the air tube. Ask your mechanic about this service if you are unsure.
Cleaning is a delicate process. Never touch the sensor elements. They are very fragile! We use an aerosol spray that is labeled "safe for cleaning mass air flow sensors." Some cleaners leave residue which may harm the sensor. Read the product description and directions carefully to be sure you are using the correct chemical and cleaning procedure.
Most Ford MAF sensors are held in with tamper proof screws. A tamper proof T-20 bit usually gets the job done. Some Ford MAF sensor screws are covered in tamper proof epoxy, thus making the screw especially tamper proof. Though we don't have any fail-proof tips on those, Snap-on brand battery pliers always break them loose for us.