How ToVauxhall Movano Campervan

Changing the mass air flow meter on a Vauxhall Movano

So it had to happen at some point, the first real problem with van occurred recently, one which resulted in reduced power, shuddering and black smoke from the exhaust. Basically the Movano was off the road until I could diagnose and fix the problem.

My first instinct was to check the fuel situation, as it felt like fuel starvation when driving. I inspected the fuel filter and noticed there were some bubbles travelling along the fuel line into the engine, so I bled the fuel filter just to make sure. This made no difference to the problem, so I had to turn my attention to somewhere else.

As the mass air flow meter (MAF) is right on top of the engine, I thought I would have a look at this next. I knew from experience with other vehicles that if you disconnect the MAF it forces the ECU to accept a default value, and if the performance/running of the engine improves, then the mass air flow meter is at fault.

So what does a MAF meter do?

The mass air flow measures the amount of air flowing into the engine. The ECU can then calculate how much fuel to add. If the MAF sends the wrong signal, then the ECU can over or under fuel, and the result is the loss of power I was feeling. In my case, it was clear from the black smoke from the exhaust that the ECU was over-fueling – the black smoke being un-burnt diesel.

When I disconnected the MAF, all hesitancy, black smoke and reduced power disappeared.Being pretty confident that I had found the fault, I started to look at how much it was going to cost. Prices ranged from £30 – £150, but the general consensus online was that it was false economy to buy the cheap Chinese copies, as they tend to fail after a few months.

So I opted to buy the mass air flow meter from my local Euro Car Parts. The meter was an original equipment (OE) item, and not a cheap copy, hence why it cost me over £100! They had it in stock, so I chose the convenience of getting it straight away, rather than wait for delivery from an internet retailer.

You can of course try to source it a bit cheaper by doing an Ebay search for Movano mass air flow meter.

Note: Its worth mentioning that the Renault Master and Nissan Intestar are the same as the Vauxhall Movano – so some parts are generally interchangeable. As you can see from the photo above, the new MAF came in a “Renault Genuine Parts” box.

So with the new mass air flow meter in my hand, it was a simple 5 minute job to swap it for the old one. All that is needed is to loosen off a jubilee clip and remove the air pipe, and undo 2 torx screws. The MAF then just pulls out of the air filter housing, as you can see from the video and photo above.

Then it was off for a short test drive, and I am pleased to report everything was back to normal. The old MAF had been on the van from new, and had covered just over 100,000 miles, so I guess it was time for replacement. Overall, I am happy to have had an easy fix, because I was expecting to have to take the Movano to a garage to have the fault codes read in the ECU – but thankfully this time I didn’t have to!

If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments below, or just comment on the video page on YouTube.


  1. How did your Movano get re-classified, when your bed is a maximum 5ft 9ins long. The minimum is supposed to be 6ft. I have found your videos to be the most informative and will be following suit quite soon. All the best, Den.

    1. Didn’t have a problem with reclassification. 1: The DVLA don’t ask for a tape measure on the bed, and 2: It is 6ft on the diagonal!
      Either way, if its slightly under I dont think they mind, as long as they can see a functioning bed that can be slept on I dont think they are that bothered by a few inches.

  2. Hi there Mr Movano
    I have a silver Movano just like yours and am self building to a camper and have been quite impressed with your vids and have been using them as a guide. Very helpful.
    Just recently I also seem to have developed a MAF problem of some kind similar to yours and I was hoping you might be able to help.
    The engine really struggles to start and is very slow to get up to 2500 revs and then has no guts to it. We think it may be the MAF but the problem is that someone, for some reason or other has cut off the wires coming out of the MAF. and We are obviously going to have to replace the relevent cables at some point just for starters but the trouble is we are not sure where connect up to in the engine because they’re just not there at the moment. Do they just disappear off to the ECU somewhere and so cant be replaced or do they actually connect up to the engine somewhere somehow. As this is the same van as yours I rather hoped you might be able to see where thise cables actually go to. Everything was going so well with the conversion which is very similar to yours but now cant see how to get past this problem and am wondering if its even worth carrying on. Heeeelp pleeease. Nick

    PS Hope to bump into you sometime as am not far from your stomping grounds. Am in Sidmouth.

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