How To Test a Chevy Malibu MAF Sensor

How To Test a Chevy Malibu MAF Sensor

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The Chevy Malibu MAF Sensor is also known as the mass air flow sensor. This is a 5 pin unit that is mounted inline with your intake tract and connected to your Chevy Malibu air filter box. When this hotwire style mass air flow sensor starts to go south on you, your Malibu will start running poorly.

Some of the symptoms can be annoying, like a rough idle or your 3.5 liter Malibu running rough. Today I will be showing you how to test your Malibu MAF Sensor in a 2007 Chevy Malibu 3.5 liter engine.

how to test a chevy malibu maf sensor

Symptoms of a bad Malibu MAF Sensor

When your mass air flow sensor in your Malibu starts to go bad, chances are you will see your check engine light turn on in your instrument cluster. You can also see an error in your Chevy IPC or the LED readout display in your dash.

  • Bad gas mileage
  • Black smoke from exhaust
  • sluggish engine response
  • rough idle

Next I will show you how to test for power in your Chevy Malibu MAF Sensor. Make sure your ignition is turned to the “ON” position to conduct this part of our How To DIY article.

Testing your Malibu MAF Sensor for Power

To begin our How To Guide to testing your Malibu MAF Sensor is to open your hood and locate your intake tract. The MAF sensor is mounted to your intake airbox by four screws and leads to your throttle body and intake manifold.

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You will be using an automotive multimeter to conduct this part of our How To Guide. Unclear as to what a multimeter is? Check out our guide here for more details.

Make sure your ignition is turned to the “ON” position and unplug your MAF connector. Once you have unplugged your Malibu MAF Sensor, gently probe the front of the connector to check for power.

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The wire you will be checking first is PIN C, this is the PINK wire of your Malibu MAF Sensor. If you have power at this wire, the next wire to check is your ground wire. In your 2007 Chevy Malibu 3.5 liter engine, this wire is the BLACK wire with a WHITE stripe or PIN B.

Measure for ground signal here at this wire, and if you have a ground signal this means that your Malibu MAF Sensor should be working. Because your mass air flow sensor also houses the Intake Air Temperature Sensor, I will show you how to test that as well.

Testing your Malibu MAF Sensor Signal

The signal wire of your Chevy Malibu MAF Sensor is PIN A or the YELLOW wire. This wire transmits the signal back to your Powertrain Control Module, or PCM.

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To do this you will be starting your engine, so make sure to stay clear of the engine, drive belts and most of all the cooling fans. Start your Chevy 3.5 liter engine and allow it to warm up. Once it’s warmed up you will measuring the signal wire, which again is PIN A.

While your Chevy Malibu is at idle this wire should be transmitting roughly between 2.2 to 2.7 K Hertz. Now have a friend slowly raise the engine speed or RPM and measure the signal wire of your Malibu MAF Sensor.

Around 2000 RPM this wire should read between 3.6-3.9 K Hertz, around 3000 RPM it should rise to around 4.2-4.5 K Hertz. Allow the engine to rise and fall and watch the signal wire readings accordingly. You should see an even escalation and fall with the engine speed, and it there shouldn’t be any gaps or spikes in the voltage.

If your Malibu MAF Sensor does not responds within the following guidelines, it’s time to replace your mass air flow sensor. You now know how to test your Malibu MAF Sensor, if you have any questions or comments leave us a comment below and let us know.


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