Four Signs Your Mass Airflow Sensor Is Going Bad

The mass airflow (MAF) sensor’s primary job is to measure the amount of air that flows into your automobile’s engine. You’ll find the MAF tucked between the air filter and throttle body. A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor will do more than just turn on your check engine light. Depending on the extent of the problem, Mechanic One Auto Repair also warns you could end up with one or more of the following four signs of MAF trouble.

1. Acceleration Problems

Because the MAF is responsible for monitoring how much air is in the engine, it can directly affect your engine’s performance when you step on the gas. The air that flows into the engine is measured and mixed with fuel to create combustion. When you step on the accelerator, your vehicle should pick up speed smoothly. If it hesitates, jerks, or stalls when you accelerate, it’s possible the MAF is going bad.

2. Rich Air/Fuel Mixture

A rich air/fuel mixture means you have too much gasoline and not enough air in the combustion chamber. This can be caused by a misreading from the MAF that triggers the engine control module to push more gas into the mixture. Aside from the performance issue discussed above, other signs of a rich air/fuel mixture include bad gas mileage, black exhaust, rough idling, and a check engine light warning.

3. Lean Air/Fuel Mixture

A lean air/fuel mixture is the opposite of a rich one; you have too much air in the mix and not enough gas. This, too, can be caused by a failing mass airflow sensor that thinks there’s enough air in there when there’s actually too much. A lean mixture starves your vehicle’s engine of the fuel it needs, and you’ll notice this when your engine is hard to start or hesitates when you accelerate (as discussed above).

4. Diagnostic Test Error Code

This is actually a sign for us unless you have a scanner in your garage and some of our customers do. If your check engine light comes on, the error code the diagnostic check returns might point to an MAF failure. Other things that can return an air intake error code include a clogged air filter, a clogged or failing catalytic converter, a damaged intake boot, or vacuum leaks in the engine.

Give us a call here at Mechanic One Auto Repair in Canton, MI, if you notice any of the above signs. We will get to the bottom of your air intake issue.