What Is the Mass Airflow Sensor and Is My Car’s MAF Going Bad?

You probably already know this, but your automobile relies on air and fuel in order to start and run. The mass airflow sensor (MAF) measures how much air flows into the engine from the outside. This helps the engine control module make adjustments to the air and fuel mixture so that your engine’s combustion is smooth and efficient. Checkpoint Motors lists the signs of a failing MAF sensor below.

Check Engine Light

If the MAF is failing, the air and fuel mixture in your automobile’s engine will not be balanced and the engine control module will turn on the check engine light. You may also notice your engine misfiring, stuttering, idling roughly, or even stalling.

Acceleration Problems

The performance issues are not exclusive to how your engine is running. Without the right air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, your vehicle may hesitate when you press down on the accelerator. It may also hesitate to pick up speed.

Poor Gas Mileage

If a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor is sending the wrong data to the engine control module, you may end up heading to the gas station more frequently. If the engine is struggling because it either has too much or too little air, your gas mileage will take a hit.

Excess Exhaust

Assume for the moment that your MAF sensor is reporting too much air in the engine and the engine control module increases the fuel in the combustion chamber. As your engine burns off the excess fuel, you’ll notice black exhaust smoke coming out of your tailpipe.

Engine Performance Issues

As we briefly touched upon above, if the mass airflow sensor is reporting incorrect air content, you will notice engine performance issues such as misfiring, stuttering, or even surging if there is too much gas in the engine. Your engine will not run smoothly and might even knock.

Dead Engine

Finally, the imbalance in the air/fuel mixture can make it hard to start your engine. You may also find that you can’t start your engine at all. This could be because your engine is either fuel-starved and there’s too much air in it or it is flooded by gasoline.

Checkpoint Motors in Oregon City, OR, can get to the bottom of your engine performance issues, and if it is the mass airflow sensor, we can clean it or replace it. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We’ll get you in and out of our shop in no time.

Photo by John_vlahidis from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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