Lexus IS300 Problems

Check Engine Light and Lack of Power Due to Failed Mass Air Flow Sensor on Lexus IS300

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because the mass air flow sensor sends incorrect information to the engine control computer. This can cause a loss of power on acceleration. A failed mass air flow sensor will require replacement.

(24 people reported this problem)

Lexus IS300 Vehicles With This Problem

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Average mileage: 112,237 (42,000–185,000)
Engine affected: 3.0L 6 Cylinder
5 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005
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Check engine light and lack of power due to failed mass air flow sensor
Car surges forward and it feels like the transmission is in neutral when you're gliding down the highway and it picks up again with a hiccup sensation creating a momentary stall
Periodically cleaning out the MAF sensor with a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol helps greatly with this issue. MAF's can be found online for a reasonable price as well, if needed.
After replacing plugs, wires, and coil packs (routine maintenance), I got a periodic hesitation @ 4000 rpm. After pulling and cleaning the maf sensor, every thing was fine for a few months. When my IS300 started acting up again, I replaced the sensor with a Denso maf sensor(OEM supplier)for about $70.00.
CEL light randomly turned on one day and the car started having acceleration issues. From a complete stop the engine would bog down if I got on the gas too much and also had issues with not wanting to shift gears when it should be. Researched online and bought a code reader to get more details on the problem. Had multiple error codes (I think they were 0141 and 0147) which pointed to a possible bad O2 sensor that was causing misfires. I decided to clean the MAF sensor since many online forums stated this was an inexpensive start to fixing the possible issue. I'm glad I did. The MAF sensor diode was black with buildup (actual color is red) so I used some Electronics cleaner to remove the gunk. Replaced the sensor, unhooked and reconnected the battery cables, then took the car out for a normal drive cycle. CEL light turned off and after driving I checked the error codes again. The vehicle cleared all error codes and was not reporting any issues. Acceleration is back to normal and the car now drives like it did when I first bought it. I also put a can of Seafoam in the gas tank just to be on the safe side. I have not had any issues for two months now and I'm glad I took this approach instead of opting to replace a perfectly fine O2 sensor. Total repair cost was around $45 (code reader, electronic cleaner & can of Seafoam) and took about 15 minutes to complete. O2 sensor repair would've costed at least $500 as quoted by the Lexus dealership.