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Cheap 01+ MAF sensor problem fix!


88pathoffroad
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From NissanForums.com, posted by Puppetmaster:

 

Possible Cheaper MAF Alternative

**Disclaimer: This is based on my knowledge and experience only, I will not be held responsible for any damage, injury, or death incurred by anyone else trying this.**

 

My buddy has a 2001 VQ35 Pathfinder and his MAF recently died. He was getting rough idling, stalling, no power, and couldn't rev past 2400 rpms because the car was in fail safe mode. This was more pronounced when the car was cold.

 

Instead of getting the Nissan specified replacement MAF for $400-$500, I tried a MAF from a 2001 VQ30 Nissan Maxima, part number 22680-2Y001. This is a proven solution for VQ35 Maximas, so I figured it would work with the Pathfinder too since according to the FSM for both Pathfinder and Maxima, the voltage specs are identical:

 

Idle: 1.2-1.8 V

2500 RPMs: 1.6-2.2

 

The sensor is direct a direct swap, as is the entire MAF tube, should you not have the Torx bits to pull out just the sensor. The Pathfinder MAF Torx bits had some security pattern while the Maxima MAF did not; I usually just use a T-20 bit to pull the sensor out. Anyway, since I couldn't get the Pathfinder sensor out, I just swapped the entire MAF tube and it was a perfect fit.

 

I checked this with Dave Burnette of South Point Nissan in Austin TX, who is a reliable source of information and knowledge on Nissans in general, and he thinks that this should work just fine. As you probably figured, I also bought the part from him for $83 plus $15 for 2 day shipping. It would have been something like $5 for regular 3-5 day shipping. Of course, any one of you can call him and get this price, or you can pick one of these up from most dealerships for about $100-$120. If you get this on your own, make sure the part number ends in 2Y001.

 

Anyway, the car runs fine now and seems like its back to normal. I'll update you again in a few weeks, but I'm confident this alternative solution will work out. Just thought I'd share this with you guys since it seems that blown MAFs are a common fault with these cars.

 

Link to discussion on this MAF alternative over at maxima.org:

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=348395

 

edit by 88: Reply to first post with additional info:

 

I was actually looking through the 2002-2004 Pathfinder FSMs and see that the MAFs for those are identical except for an IAT thermistor, much like for the 2002+ Maximas in the link above. In other words, this little fix can be done on 2002-2004 Pathfinders as well, but you'd need to pull the IAT thermistor off the existing MAF and clip it into the 2001 Maxima MAF for there not to be a CEL. Even without the IAT, the MAF will work fine but you'll trip the IAT malfunction code.

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I was wondering about those replaceable MAF's. I just have not had the time to double check all the specs. I probably should of assumed that it would work. Most of the air flow meters in the v6's are very close. Cool for those guys who need them! Ive replaced several of them in Maximas. There are actually 2 different torx bits that I have ran into several times. But it does only take seconds to swap.

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I just did this fix today.  Truck started right up and no problems so far.  Thanks 88!  I'll let you know how things are going in a few days.

Glad to know that the fix worked for you. I was actually the original poster of that info over at nissanforums.com and wanted to say that the 01 Pathfinder that I fixed is running perfectly after almost 2 weeks of driving, including both city driving and a trip from Arlington VA to Charlotte NC. I did not reset his ECU, but I will at some point because I want to reset his fuel trims. I will also have to do more reading on the 01 ECUs and how they deal with the diagnostics and feedback, although I'm sure they are very similar to 00-03 Maximas, which I am somewhat familiar with.

Edited by Puppetmaster
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Anyone know if you would need to reprogram the ecm once this switch is made, or is it plug and play?

As mentioned above, I think you should at least reset the ECU with the new MAF. Reprogramming would require a Consult II at the dealership and is a software update, and that couldn't hurt if you can get it done cheaply or under the federal emissions warranty (which is up to 80k miles, IIRC). From what I've seen, it isn't necessary for the car to run right, but there could be more subtle issues that I'm missing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interestingly both Experience Nissan (Orillia ON) and Barrie Nissan (Barrie ON) state that they cannot get part number 226802Y001. They can only get the assembly @ $599.99.

 

Have any other Canucks got this story from the Nissan dealers in Canada? I told them that I coudl get that part number from the US and my response was that they often don't get the same parts as the US dealers, ie. US spec vs Can spec.

 

I guess I'll be giving Dave Burnette a call...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just did this to my 2001 Path SE 3.5. Works Great! I forgot how much power I had lost with that bad Mass Air Flow Sensor. By the way, when my MAF died it never threw any codes, the engine just didn't have its full power, and it often missed above 3200RPM.

 

Thanks for saving me $300!

 

 

Scott :bow:

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if your rig has failsafe and won't rev about 2400, your maf is dead. any other maf issues warrants at least a good cleaning with *MAF CLEANER*, not brake clean, compressed air or anything else. i have brought back countless mafs from the dead doing that.

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I'm glad to hear that this fix is working out well for other people. I'll remember to post info here too if there are any other Pathfinder issues I run into that haven't already been discussed. I'm also going to have Dave Burnette see if he can help this forum out with OEM parts in general. It can't hurt having an OEM parts guy around.

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if your rig has failsafe and won't rev about 2400, your maf is dead. any other maf issues warrants at least a good cleaning with *MAF CLEANER*, not brake clean, compressed air or anything else. i have brought back countless mafs from the dead doing that.

That should be 2800 RPM's, actually. ;)

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  • 3 months later...

I applied this fix to my 01 Pathy, and it worked perfectly.

Took about 20 minutes from beginning to end.

 

Once I got the part in, I started the truck, the SES light went out, and my truck was back.

I've been driving it like I used to, and it's working fine...

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  • 5 months later...

i just did this and it runs much better however it's still not 100% and this was after i left the battery disconnected for over 12 hours to try to reset the ECU. i was looking at the box it came in today and it said an ECU update was required with that part. even though its for a maxima, could there be one for the pathfinder as well?

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  • 5 weeks later...

I've got a '97 LE, and for the *first* time in the 7 years I've owned it, the engine started stalling.

 

"Crap, I thought... this sounds like a sensor or electronic problem, better start tapping on connectors"

 

The *first* tap was on the MAF Sensor and it killed the car instantly. I got lucky. I tried it several more times, and nearly each time, it killed the car. "Here is the problem".

 

The Check Engine light came on, and I hooked up my newly-built OBD2<->USB interface (http://www.obddiag.net), and got the 0100 MAF error - that confirmed it.

 

So now I had to figure out if it was the sensor or the connector, because when I'd clear the code and check the MAF data as the car was running, it would be just fine, until I tapped the sensor, killing the car, and the MAF data stream. So when the MAF was working, it was really working. What I had was a perfectly good sensor and an intermittent bad connection.

 

After variously jiggling the connector vs. the sensor itself, I got a strong feeling the problem was in the sensor housing. This was confirmed by hooking an ohm-meter across pins 1&3 with the senor out of the car. It would read a relatively steady resistance until I'd tweak the sensor and it would go to infinity, showing an open connection.

 

That proved to me that the sensor was good and it was an internal disconnect in the sensor housing.

 

Astonished by the exorbitant MAF sensor prices, I thought to myself: "For $250 bones, this thing's worth trying to rescue"

 

Using a screwdriver & heat gun at about 350 degrees F, I pried off the top, which of course popped off and broke the remaining two internal wires in the process. Fortunately for me, the wires were all broken at the housing and not on the circuit board, which was enclosed in a 1/8" layer of clear silicone gel "goo". It took me a bit to clean the icky silicone goo off the wires, and I was able to solder replacement jumpers into place.

 

This job is not for the faint-of-heart. I could've destroyed the sensor with a slip of the hand at any moment. The soldering was really tough and the silicone goo gets everywhere. Liquid flux and relatively high heat helped.

 

When I was done, I put the sensor back in the Pathfinder before gluing it and tested it. Voila! It worked! So I pulled the unit back out and used some superglue to glue the case back shut.

 

BTW, I had to use some clear plastic (cut to size from some of that annoying clear clamshell packaging), and put it over the silicone gel to isolate my jumper wires from the circuit board below. Then I used some clear packing tape, face-to-face with wires in-between, to make sure the three wires don't ever cross - even with constant engine vibration.

 

So now, despite all the tapping and jiggling of the connector, the stalling problem is gone. My Pathfinder is back, and I saved anywhere from $250 to $1250 depending on how it got fixed.

 

So if it's your MAF sensor, check to see if it's not just a bad internal connection. The stock connections are very, and I mean VERY, fragile on the '97 Pathfinder sensors. Hard to believe such an expensive and important sensor would have such lousy connections on the inside.

 

Also see this guy's video of a similar problem with the Maxima's:

 

 

Good luck with yours!

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...
since i cant do this for my 02 path without plug n play would u recommend me getting an aftermarket maf sensor , i see em on ebay selling for 115 shipped or should i buy it from the dealer for 300+?

 

Get an 01 maxima maf.

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Interestingly both Experience Nissan (Orillia ON) and Barrie Nissan (Barrie ON) state that they cannot get part number 226802Y001. They can only get the assembly @ $599.99.

 

Have any other Canucks got this story from the Nissan dealers in Canada? I told them that I coudl get that part number from the US and my response was that they often don't get the same parts as the US dealers, ie. US spec vs Can spec.

 

I guess I'll be giving Dave Burnette a call...

 

This might be old information for some, but since someone brought this thread back to life, I'm reading it.

 

The 2000-2001 Maxima's had a major programming probelm with their MAF. Nissan replaced the original MAF 22680-AD200/AD201 with a replacement MAF pt# 22680-2Y001 and created a service file on them. The old number was discontinued.

 

With the new 2Y001 MAF installed, you needed to also reflash the ecu, or the vehicle would not run most of the time.

 

The R50 uses a different MAF 22680-4W000 and there is no service file, or TSB on this MAF.

 

In Canada, both part #'s come as complete assemblies at $599.95, not as a seperate element.

 

Sounds like the USA may supply the same part# but as a different package at a different price.

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