Six MAF Sensor Failure Signs

Your vehicle’s mass airflow sensor is also called the MAF sensor. This sensor has a pretty important job. The MAF sensor is located behind the air filter so it can keep track of how much air flows into the engine. The engine control module (ECM) uses this information to regulate the air and fuel levels in the combustion chamber. Kirk’s Auto Care advises that there are six signs that indicate your vehicle’s MAF sensor is failing or dirty. Here is what they are.

Hard Starts

It can be difficult to get your vehicle started with the faulty MAF sensor. This is because the incorrect data that the sensor is relaying to the ECM has thrown off the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. There will either be too much air or too much fuel in the chamber, and this makes starting your automobile nearly impossible.


If you do get your vehicle started yet it stalls shortly after starting, this, too, can point indirectly to the MAF sensor. For example, assume for a moment that the mass airflow sensor has convinced the ECM that the combustion chamber needs more air. Your vehicle cannot run on air alone, and because the ECM has added unnecessary air, your engine will stall.

Stress Drag

A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor can also make it difficult for your engine to perform when it is under stress. For example, you may find that your engine’s acceleration lags severely when you are driving up a steep hill. This can be due to, again, too much air in the combustion chamber.

Acceleration Lag

You may also find it difficult to get your vehicle to accelerate. Even though you are pressing down on the accelerator, your engine may be slow to respond or it may respond by sputtering as it picks up speed. This is a signal that the air and fuel balance in the combustion chamber is not correct.

Performance Lag

As you figured out by now, too much air or fuel in the combustion chamber can cause all sorts of engine problems. Focusing still on the mass airflow sensor, if it is not able to read the airflow into the engine correctly, you may also have problems with your engine performance after you’ve picked up speed. Your engine may hiccup and sputter as if it is going to stall.

Idling Trouble

Finally, the mass airflow sensor can affect how your engine idles. When there is too much air in the engine, you will have a lean idle that causes the engine to sputter. When there is too much fuel in the engine, your engine will pick up speed in spurts.

Kirk’s Auto Care in Livonia or Farmington Hills, MI, can help. Call us today.

Call Kirk's Auto Care at 734-402-8722 for an appointment today!

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