How To Test a Mustang MAF

How To Test a Mustang MAF


The Mustang MAF is the eyes and ears of your Ford Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and problems can arise when the sensor is dirty or damaged. Your Ford mass air flow meter (MAF) is a four or six wire MAF, and is meant to measure real time data about the incoming air charge.

Your PCM uses this information to operate closed loop operation and run your engine efficiently. For more information about tuning and closed loop, or what closed and open loop mean or do for your vehicle, check out our primer here.

Today we’ll be showing you how to test and service a mass air flow (MAF) meter in a 1997 Ford Mustang Cobra GT with the modular 4.6 liter engine in it. If you own a 3.8 liter V6 version of the Ford Mustang, not to worry check out our How To Guide here.

This is a four wire MAF as the air intake temperature (AIT) sender is located upstream in the Ford intake snorkel.


To begin your testing, unplug your four wire MAF connector as well as the two pin AIT connector.


With the MAF sensor unplugged, you can reference the connector side of the harness to check for MAF power.

How To Check your Mustang MAF for Power

Our first part in our How To Test a Mustang MAF Guide is checking your 4.6 liter Ford MAF for power and ground signals. To do this you will be using a multimeter and gently touching the red lead to the pins shown below.

Take your multimeter and reference PIN A or the first wire on the right side of the Ford MAF. This wire should be RED and be a switched power signal that sends voltage to your MAF with the key set to the “ON” position.


This red wire should be sending power with your ignition switch set to the “ON” position. The chassis wire is the next wire which is black wire with white stripe. This should be the chassis ground for your mass air flow meter, if you have power and ground here, you can move onto the next section of our How To Test a Mustang MAF Guide.

Remember you will be testing the harness side of the MAF connector. Never force or push the test lead down the MAF connectors, as damage can occur to the metal clips inside. This damage could compromise the connection, and the signal from the MAF your PCM needs.

How to Check your Ford MAF Signal


The 4.6 liter Ford mass air flow (MAF) sensor has the signal and signal ground wires left on the four pin MAF connector.


To test the last two pins on your MAF, you can either check them at the PCM using the image above, or simply backprobe the two wires with the connector plugged in.

The next pin we’ll be checking is PIN C or the MAF Signal Ground, which is supplied by the PCM. This is also known as the MAF GND and this light blue wire with red stripe leads back to PIN 88 on your Ford Mustang PCM. The last pin is PIN D and it’s a gray wire with a red stripe and this wire goes back to your Ford PCM and terminates at pin 36.

You can backprobe this last pin for a MAF signal if your multimeter is capable enough of reading the signal. If not, you can continue onto checking the Ford MAF signal wire for continuity. This wire is tan with a light blue stripe in it, and represents the MAF signal wire for your Ford Mustang.

To test the MAF Signal wire on your 4.6 liter Ford mass air flow sensor, you will need to first disconnect your battery. With your battery unplugged, now disconnect the 104 pin PCM connector. With your multimeter in OHMs mode, check the continuity between pin 36 on the 104 PCM connector and the MAF sensor connector pin that connects to the tan wire with blue stripe.

If you’ve gone through our How To Test a Mustang MAF guide and found that your mass air flow meter is dead, you’ve got to order a new one. The part number for this unit is F7-XZ12-B579-AA, and is a plug and play unit that requires no calibration.

Do you maybe own a V6 version of the Ford Mustang? Check out our 3.8 liter V6 Mass Airflow testing How To here. Of course if you are looking to upgrade your MAF all together, you can use our Ford Mustang upgrade guide here.

That’s it for our how to test a Mustang MAF, please leave any questions or comments below!