Seven Signs Your Mass Airflow Sensor Is Going Bad

The mass airflow (MAF) sensor plays a crucial role in your automobile’s air and fuel balance in the combustion chamber. Shums Auto Repair explains that the MAF sensor sends engine air inflow data to your vehicle’s main computer chip, the engine control unit (ECU), and the ECU uses this information to balance the combustion chamber’s air and fuel. If the mass airflow sensor is faulty, you will notice one or more of the following problems.

1. Acceleration Troubles

When the MAF sensor is dirty or malfunctioning, it may send incorrect air inflow data to the ECU. Consequently, the ECU may make adjustments in the combustion chamber that are unnecessary and affect your engine’s performance. For example, if the ECU adds excess air to the chamber, your vehicle will struggle to accelerate.

2. Rough Engine Idling

Excess air will also cause your engine to idle roughly. This is because the engine is being fuel-starved. Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this issue is to replace the faulty MAF sensor so that it sends the correct data to the ECU.

3. Performance Issues

In addition to the above problems, your engine may sputter and struggle to run if there is too much air in the combustion chamber. If the ECU does the opposite and adds too much fuel to the chamber, your engine will pick up speed unexpectedly and in spurts. This can make driving your automobile dangerous and difficult.

4. Poor Fuel Efficiency

All of these things will reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Anytime the engine is not running efficiently it will burn through more fuel. This includes a situation where there is too much air and not enough fuel in the combustion chamber.

5. Black Exhaust Smoke

If the malfunctioning MAF sensor has convinced the ECU that the chamber needs more fuel when it actually doesn’t, you might end up with black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe. This is a sign the engine is burning excess fuel.

6. Hard Starts/No Starts

Naturally, any combustion chamber imbalance can make it difficult to start your automobile. In severe cases, you may be unable to get your vehicle started because it is severely fuel-starved or flooded with fuel.

7. Check Engine Warning

Finally, the conditions listed above will cause various system sensors to report error codes to the ECU. When this happens, your check engine light will turn on.

Call Shums Auto Repair in Philadelphia, PA, today if you suspect you have a problem with the MAF sensor. We will replace it if necessary.

Photo by Mariia Demchenko from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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