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Mass Airflow Sensor Price Shocker

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After my baby started stalling on me on Saturday, Howard suggested that I might have a bad mass airflow sensor (see "Car Dies After CD Changer Inst.; ECM Codes?" post, 10/1/00), I read on another post that someone got one for $50. I went to my local Buick dealer today, and got weak at the knees when I got quoted $480 for the sensor. Figured I'd have them check the problem to make sure before spending that much. Koons Buick in Alexandria, VA happens to have a mechanic who specialises in Reatta's - he drives one himself, so he is checking the car for me, and if the airflow sensor is the problem, I guess I'll have to fork out the money. Also taking the opportunity to replace my ABS accumulator, since the light has been coming on a lot lately. I am lucky that they have both parts in stock, and also for the Reatta specialist, but I may be more than $1,000 poorer when all this is over.<P>I guess I too have now officially become part of the Reatta Club - at a costly membership fee. Despite the cost involved, I am still in love with my baby - even though after having her for about three months and 5,000 miles (got her at 100,000), it is probably time for spending money on taking care of the little things that need replacing.<P>Wish me luck!

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If it makes you feel any better, most makes air mass sensors are expensive not just GM's.

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No, it doesn't make me feel better, but thanks anyway smile.gif<P>Right now I am praying that it is something else, a little less expensive. Waiting for the phone call from the dealer...

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I bought one at Advance Auto Parts earlier this year for less than $300

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MAF is PN 24502966, cost $200 from on line suppliers. If the MAF is malfunctioning, it will set a code and illuminate the Check Engine light. The MAF output can be checked on the diagonistics on the 1988-89. Tapping the black plastic case of the MAF should not result in engine studdering or stall. If it does, the MAF is bad. The MAF is an easy 5 minute replacement job.

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While not in the habit of recommending used parts, you might try a salvage yard for the MAF sensor. I bought a complete 1990 engine with all sensors and exhaust manifolds for only $340.00. The MAF on the subject engine works just great and are pretty common in the salvage yards.<P>------------------<BR>Hal, btk@vbe.com

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RedReattaRus,<P>I tried gmpartsdirect.com, and they don't have the sensor. Anywhere else I might try to get one online that you know of?<P>Also, you mention tapping the box to check for effects. Where is it located, and if I do happen to get the part only, will someone be able to give me instructions on how to replace?

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I have a used but good MAF I would sell for $75 plus $3.20 shipping. I have 4 Reatta parts cars.

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Thanks for the help and suggestions guys, but I had to make a quick decision when the dealership called me this morning to tell me that it was, in fact, a bad MAF sensor (part # in previous reply to this post), and $550 for parts ($396 for the sensor) and labor would cover it (Ouch!). Since I use my Pride and Joy to get to work, and I hated the tought of breaking down on the interstate, waiting for a cheaper or used part, and then trying to install it myself (I'm no mechanic), may have cost me more days off work and the same kind of money I might have saved on the deal. Simply had to get it done. Got the car back earlier today, and everything is back to normal - so far. It may only have been my imagination, but she seemed to run smoother than ever before. I'm hoping that my cold start problems would be better too now.

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The price does seem pretty steep for the part, not to mention the labor. The MAF sensor itself is held into the housing by three phillips screws and only takes five minutes to replace. The part is right at the top front of the housing. Unless they spent a lot of time diagnosing the problem, they are making a lot of money per hour.<P>------------------<BR>Hal, btk@vbe.com

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They charged me $40 for a computerized test to determine the actual problem, and about two hours worth of labor at $69 p/h, plus $396 for the part. To tell you the truth, Reatta specialist or not, I think I got ripped off for the total cost of replacement.<P>I also had them check my ABS system, since the light has been coming on a lot lately, thinking that while I'm there, I'll have them replace my ABS accumulator. They did another "computer check" on the ABS (another $40), which came up with nothing, so they said they'd have to do a manual pin-point check on all the electrical connections - for $159. That's without labor or $153 for the accumulator, if that were the problem, which by now we all know, is the major cause for the ABS light coming on.<P>I gave all of that a skip and figured I'd check the accumulator myself, in the way that some of the contributors to this BB have described, and then buy and replace it myself.<P>Reatta specialist? I don't know about that...

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