How To Test a Ford Escape MAF Sensor

How To Test a Ford Escape MAF Sensor


When you suspect your Escape MAF Sensor is going bad, you need a comprehensive test to show you if it’s good or not. The MAF sensor is also known as the mass air flow meter. This device is a airflow vane meter that measures the volume of incoming air. It also reads crucial data about the air that your Ford engine computer needs to properly deliver the right amount of fuel.

Over time the Escape MAF sensor in your Ford can go bad. This will lead to a host of Ford Escape problems. Some of these issues are mildly annoying while others can pose a serious risk to your vehicle. Of course the most obvious Escape problem is your check engine light. When your Escape CEL is triggered in your instrument cluster, you will need the right OBDII scan tool to read the code in your Diagnostic computer.

Test a Ford Escape MAF Sensor 2

If you suspect your Ford mass air flow meter in your Escape is going bad, you can use this How To Guide to test it. You will need to use a digital multimeter to test this unit in order to determine if it’s still any good. Today I’ll be showing you how to test the airflow meter in a 2006 Ford Escape with the 3.0 liter engine in it.

Ford Escape issues from a bad MAF

When this vital sensor goes bad in your Escape, your Ford engine computer won’t know what’s going on. Because this error can lead to premature engine damage and bad gas mileage, it’s best to test and replace the MAF sensor as soon as possible. Here’s a few other Ford Escape problems that can come from your MAF dying.

  • Hesitation under acceleration
  • Bad gas mileage
  • Engine misfire
  • Overly rich condition
  • Check Engine Light ON

Testing your Ford Escape MAF sensor is easy to do with our DIY tutorial. We will begin by testing the MAF for power.

Testing the Ford Escape MAF sensor for power

You might think that testing your mass air flow meter might be hard to do. To make things easier your Escape MAF sensor is labeled at each pin. To begin prepare your multimeter by turning the operation dial to read DC voltage. Now open your hood and locate the airflow meter, which is connected to your intake tract.

Test a Ford Escape MAF Sensor 3

Now disconnect the airflow meter by pushing down on the lock tab and pulling away from the housing. Now with the MAF connector disconnected, you can begin testing on the ENGINE harness side. The wire to check first is the wire that goes to PIN A on our Ford Escape MAF sensor wiring diagram.

Test a Ford Escape MAF Sensor 21

To test this wire for power, you need to turn your Ford Escape ignition to the “ON” position but do not start your engine.

Put the black lead of your multimeter to the negative post of your battery. Now gently probe the front of the wire at PIN A for power. With the key on you should have 12 volts at this terminal.

If you have power here you need to check for a ground signal. There’s two ground circuits here, the first is the wire leading to PIN B. This is your chassis ground and is required before your Escape MAF sensor can operate properly. Next is the ground supplied by your Ford Powetrain Control Module, or PCM. This wire is located at PIN C. If these three MAF connectors check out, this means that your airflow meter should be operating correctly as it’s being powered and grounded.

Checking the Escape MAF for signal

This part of the guide requires you to reconnect your Ford Escape MAF sensor. Now that the wiring harness is reconnected, you’ll need to backpin or measure the signal at PIN D. The wire from terminal D is the signal wire for your airflow sensor.

Testing your airflow signal will require you to start your car, so make sure to stay safe. Keep yourself and your clothing as well as your tools away from the engine. Stay clear of the drive pulleys and especially the cooling fans.

Now start your engine and allow your 3.0 liter Ford engine to warm up. Once it’s warned up to operating temperature, you can begin testing the signal. The signal wire must be backpinned or the wire can be pierced with your multimeter lead.

With the wire going to PIN D pierced with the red lead, put the black multimter lead to the negative battery terminal. Monitor the voltage being sent by your mass air flow meter. This value will fluctuate a bit but it shouldn’t have any gaps or missing sections of voltage. Determine the average voltage with the engine at idle, this is your base Escape MAF sensor signal.

Now manually depress the throttle to increase engine speed or have a buddy hop into your Escape and press down on the throttle. As the engine speed increases your MAF voltage should rise slowly. Let go of the throttle and the voltage should decrease evenly.

Monitor the MAF voltage and make sure there’s no spikes or missing gaps of signal. If your Escape MAF sensor is still in operating condition the voltage should rise and fall evenly. If the airflow sensor does not respond in this manner, this means that the airflow meter is bad.

Remove the mass air flow meter and install a replacement Escape airflow meter. Once you’ve replaced the Ford Escape MAF sensor you can use your scan tool to erase your check engine light. Have any questions about our MAF testing guide? Leave us a comment below and let us know!