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Q: where exactly is the maf sensor located and what does the maf sensor look like? on 1996 Mercury Cougar

rough when idle in gear. dosent shift right and runs rough. was told it was the maf sensor
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The MAF sensor - or Mass Air Flow -- is located on the air tube at the air box.

It's a flat sensor, but it comes as a sensor assembly with the tube that the rubber air intake tube clamps onto.

The MAF sensor could be causing your symptoms, but so could a bunch of other things. Hopefully your diagnosis is accurate.
Thank you for information. I guess that's the next step to try. Have tried new fuel filter and a vacuum valve sensor that was hidden behind and under the passenger side headlight. Lucky that I had a friend with a lot of patience. Thanks again for the info. Sid
The best thing for you to try next is have a good diagnosis done! All these parts add up...and guessing isn't helping. A MAF sensor will compromise air and fuel mixture if it is not working properly, but your symptoms of running rough and not shifting right doesn't necessarily sound like a MAF problem. You could have a vacuum leak, for example. Or possibly a throttle body / throttle position sensor issue. Components should be checked and monitored.
Thank you Dave for your input. Your right, it is starting to get a little expensive on the guessing. I feel lucky that the person that works on my car and old truck doesn't rip me off on the labor. Just bought new plug wires (the existing ones are original). He is going to change those out and check the air lines that connect to the valve sensor he replaced thinking maybe and hopefully that maybe it has a leak or some blockage. Thank you again for your input. If this doesn't work I am definitely taking your advise. Sid
OK, well, original ignition wires 15 years later are definitely a need. No question there. That alone may help you.

Make sure you have quality plugs and wires.

Vacuum leaks are easy to diagnose by an experienced hand - most techs will have a propane tank to temporarily richen the area around a potential vacuum leak. When the propane hits a vacuum leak, the rough running straightens out in the presence of a fuel. (some people use carb cleaner alternatively - just messier, but same result).

You're on the right track; just hate to see people throw money away, even with the best intentions.
Dave. I keep passing the word to my friend that does the work. I get a little irritated at myself at times because a lot of the simple things I used to do I'm not quite capable to do since a stroke 2years ago. I feel like I'm lucky because I have a friend that is fair on the labor. (at least for now ha, ha,) I will pass the word to him. Thanks again. Sid
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