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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
JASON DeMELLO SAVED MY A$$ (again)

On the eve of my North Rim - Grand Canyon/Aztec Caves run with VOLHOO, I started the engine of the FJ.

<CHECK ENGINE> light on

When the check engine light goes on, all of the traction control lights come on and it's quite spectacular.

No problem. I have a ScanGauge2. Yes there are error codes, but none correspond to Toyota error codes.

The rig is driving fine. I run down to Auto Zone and plug in their scanner and it shows the following error codes: P043E, P2401, P2402, P2419. They looked them up for me. They only correspond to Mazda and Volkswagens.

The clerk at Auto Zone picked his nose, rubbed his hand through his hair (I'm not kidding - literally) and told me he had "no idea".

So I drove to ToyotaMasters and spoke with my friend, Eric, who broke out his scanner. All it showed was "error".

W-T-F over?

I hate to bother Jason DeMello, but he's THE genius so I drove to his shop. The diagnosis took all of about three seconds.

MAF Sensor



For those of you who are knowingly saying "of course that's what it is", keep in mind that I am a functional idiot - relying on gauges and diagnostics to cover my ignorance.

The MAF Sensor plugs in behind the OEM Secondary air filter. Oil from the K & N air filter I was running slowly accreted on the sensor over time. Dust attached itself to the sensor (with a minute quantity of oil on it).

So I dumped the K & N filter in the trash (if anyone wants it, it's in Jason's trash - they have a lifetime guarantee - rush over before they empty the trash tonight) and bought an OEM filter - and will be going with paper filters now. Jason took his air hose and blew out the secondary air filter and was COMPLETELY helpful.

Apparently this has been a problem with Tacomas that ran K & N Filters. Jason said that if the MAP Sensor gets too clogged with dirt, it will shut down the engine and the engine won't restart.

Electronic parts cleaner sprayed liberally on the sensor cleaned it up.

For those of you who run in dust a lot as I do and particularly those who are running a K & N Filter - this is a learning point: Clean your MAF Sensor. Because if it shuts down and you're in the back of beyond you may not know why the engine died and won't restart - and the error codes on your ScanGauge will not reflect the nature of the problem.
 

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Good to know Larry. They always say not to over oil your reusable air filter, but if you have never done it before, how much is too much?!?
Can you go into a little more detail about how it was cleaned? What is "electronic parts cleaner"?
 

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It's catch-22 really.. Too little and it doesn't filter properly and too much and you got problems. Electronics (or contact) cleaner is a degreaser with other properties helpful to electronics.. The same concept as carb, TB or brake cleaner. Just spray to wash the crap off. Ron

CC-44 Electronic Contact Cleaner and Degreaser


Good to know Larry. They always say not to over oil your reusable air filter, but if you have never done it before, how much is too much?!?
Can you go into a little more detail about how it was cleaned? What is "electronic parts cleaner"?
 

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I believe the newer dry filter (spun/blown/non-woven) technology will eventually displace the wet/oiled all together. JMHO Ron

I've been instructed by many that it is better to not oil an aftermarket filter than it is to over oil it for this same reason.
 

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I had this exact problem with my Disco and the K & N. I re-oiled by WAY too much, destroyed the MAF sensor, and luckily was able to find a used one on ebay for around $100. I'm not saying that I dont have a K&N in my FJ now, but I am sure of how much oil I use on the filter these days... can be an expensive problem
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For the time being, I'm back to OEM filters until I decide whether or not to go with a different non-oiled filter.

AND I don't oil my K & N much at all. Obviously too much, but it's not worth the hassle. I'd rather pay more for the OEM replacements.
 

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I thought this was going to show us how/where/ to clean that sensor, you know with pics and everything!!! (oops i see a pic has been added!, my bad!)
Although Scott probably knows where the thing is! LOL!!! He checked the K&N after the run this weekend and said it was looking good(meaning its dirty and working fine)! Hope its ok??? I'll be sure to direct him to these threads!!!
 

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For the time being, I'm back to OEM filters until I decide whether or not to go with a different non-oiled filter.

AND I don't oil my K & N much at all. Obviously too much, but it's not worth the hassle. I'd rather pay more for the OEM replacements.
The TRD comes pre-oiled correctly. After market filters allow more air in, and the oil keeps dust out to some degree. If you want after market filters for the increased airflow, you could always just replace each drop in with a NEW TRD every time. I realize that it's approx $75 each time? but they should be good for 30-50k miles. Of course, I'm not running in the dust that you are.
 

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Outerskin

If you use a cone type oiled/hi-flow filter, one of the outerskin pre-filters is the way to go. You just wash it out and stick it back on.. Ron

The TRD comes pre-oiled correctly. After market filters allow more air in, and the oil keeps dust out to some degree. If you want after market filters for the increased airflow, you could always just replace each drop in with a NEW TRD every time. I realize that it's approx $75 each time? but they should be good for 30-50k miles. Of course, I'm not running in the dust that you are.
 

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Re: Outerskin

Are you using the Airaid prefilter and the TRD CAI? I believe Airaid bought out the outerskin people a couple of years ago. I like that combination. Ron

I do, but I believe Larry is using a drop in type. Am I correct Larry?
 

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Re: Outerskin

Are you using the Airaid prefilter and the TRD CAI? I believe Airaid bought out the outerskin people a couple of years ago. I like that combination. Ron
I'm not using a prefilter as I'm driving in swampy slop more so than the dust that Uphill sees in Cali. I like that set up, though, and will utilize it in some of my upcoming expeditions. :)

I was just trying to suggest that with the drop in types (stock box), he could just exchange with "new" correctly preoiled filters instead of the OEM if he wants the better airflow, for about $70 each time.

 

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Re: Outerskin

That's the conclusion that I came to as well. The last two I had (03 Rubi w/25K and 05 Rubi w/25K) I used the prefilter and never had to actually clean the filter. On my 97 TJ with 100K, I had to clean and reoil it twice and it had dust in the intake (post filter) both times. If someone came up with a way to use the Cyclone prefilter with the TRD CAI, that would e the way to go. I'd still probably use one of the outerskin types if I lived in the desert.. Ron

I'm not using a prefilter as I'm driving in swampy slop more so than the dust that Uphill sees in Cali. I like that set up, though, and will utilize it in some of my upcoming expeditions. :)

I was just trying to suggest that with the drop in types (stock box), he could just exchange with "new" correctly preoiled filters instead of the OEM if he wants the better airflow.
 

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I don't think I explained it right to Larry, I believe his check engine light was caused by too much dust on the MAF sensor. Oil is a problem as well but his had a lot of dust on the sensor.

The problem occurs because some aftermarket filters are known to have weak seals or even worse very porous filtration. IMO K&N has both depending on model the seal actually leaks too.
I was a huge fan of K&N a long time ago; no one could tell me anything negative about them. But after years of having check engine lights come on in my Tacoma after almost every off road trip. On top of that the TTORA forum it became a very hot topic because a number of other Toyota drivers had the same problem. It became the consensus that the filter was causing the problem.

We should have taken pictures of Larry’s air box pass the filter it was a perfect example of everything that can go wrong with the aftermarket filters. He had dust all the way up to the throttle body and all over the inside of the plastic box. His MAF sensor was coated in dust as well throwing his check engine light.

When I was evolved with the TTORA group we actually had a Tacoma stop running because of his MAF sensor covered in dust. He was running the Full K&N filter unit. I use to carry a can of electronics cleaner with me when I went off road JIC.

I know some people here love there K&N's, I'm sorry these are just my experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My air-flow is OEM with the exception of the snorkel. I added a K & N filter nearly a year ago now and have maintained it per specifications and check it ---well, not often enough it seems. I thought of returning to the OEM filters about 4 months ago now but didn't pull the trigger until today. All in all, better to swap the filters out for better coverage.

I considered a cold air intake for some time but held off because I wasn't sure if they'd be compatible with the ARB snorkel. The snorkel is in now and I haven't worked out which solution is best, so stuck with the OEM system. A lot of the dust that Jason spoke about was pre-snorkel.
 

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Is there an actual "MAF Cleaner"? Or will compressed air do the trick?

I think im going to go clean it just to do it.
Electrical parts cleaner works best. It dries with no oil so any chance of messing up your sensor. Compressed air will help but won't get it that clean. Be really careful the sensor is very fragile.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is there an actual "MAF Cleaner"? Or will compressed air do the trick?

I think im going to go clean it just to do it.
At Jason's suggestion, I picked up a can of electronic parts cleaner. It cleans without leaving an oil residue. Jason sprayed the heck out of the sensor with the cleaner and it did the trick.

We drive in so much dust that this is going to be a maintenance item for me every-other oil change. Maybe I won't need to clean it that often, but inspecting it every 10K miles or so just makes sense.

Sometimes I feel like a dunce.:boohoo:

Even though the price may be high (higher than I want to pay for one), I'm thinking of adding a MAF sensor to my kit of spare parts to keep with the rig.
 
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