What is a mass airflow sensor?
A mass airflow (MAF) sensor continually measures the volume of air going into an engine and sends that information to the vehicle’s computer.
How does the mass airflow sensor work?
The engine’s computer receives input from a lot of sensors and ensures they all agree with each other. An extremely important sensor that is used in reference to almost all engine operations is the mass airflow (MAF) sensor. The MAF sensor records how much air is entering the engine’s intake tube and reports the information it gathers to the computer. This allows the computer to calculate, or confirm, the amount of air entering the engine, amount of exhaust gas expected, how much fuel to send into the engine and a lot of other important factors. In addition, this sensor works closely with the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor to allow significantly accurate response to ever changing conditions.
What are the symptoms associated with a bad mass airflow sensor?
If the MAF sensor sends an inaccurate signal, a couple of things happen. The engine’s computer will activate the check engine light, and the on-board diagnostic (OBD) trouble codes will reflect the airflow deviation noted by the MAF sensor. Depending on the reported volume of air, the engine may try to compensate for these conditions, making the engine burn excessive amounts of fuel and discharges black smoke from the exhaust. In this situation, the OBD trouble codes would also reference faults identified by the exhaust oxygen sensors. The engine can also have issues with idling roughly, not starting, hesitation, stalling, loss of power, misfires and fuel intake.
Can I drive with a mass airflow sensor problem?
When the MAF sensor fails driving can be hazardous. Because engine power will surge on and off, the vehicle may careen forward. Overall engine performance may start to be unpredictable and hard to control. It is preferable to tow the vehicle if any of the mentioned indicators are present. If the vehicle operates s, or near normally, driving the vehicle should not cause any issues.
How often do mass airflow sensors need to be replaced?
MAF sensors do tend to fail sometimes in a lot of vehicles. Failure rates are usually highest between 100,000 and 125,000 miles. The sensor can also get damaged during air filter changes, or anytime the engine intake gets serviced. Furthermore, a collision can cause a physical or electrical fault in the sensor.
How are mass airflow sensor problems diagnosed?
When the check engine light is on, and OBD trouble codes are referring to the MAF sensor, the servicing tech will begin by checking the vehicle for any signs of physical damage before starting to test. A scanner will be connected to the vehicle, and current conditions will be compared to the current readings from the vehicle’s different sensors. After these conditions are analyzed and compared, the tech relies on their training to understand which component needs to be tested. Once one or more components are showing evidence of possible failure, the servicing tech will begin testing with the most likely component, until the issue has been confirmed.
How is a mass airflow sensor replaced?
Replacing the MAF sensor is typically fast and easy. The sensor will usually be on or adjacent to the intake air tube, and the fastener can be a screw or a clip. After the sensor is replaced, the tech will examine sensor data, and confirm that the issue has been fixed.
OBD codes related to Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement
- P0100: Mass or Volume Air Flow “A” Circuit
- P0103: Mass or Volume Air Flow “A” Circuit High
- P0104: Mass or Volume Air Flow “A” Circuit Intermittent
What to look for when dealing with mass airflow sensor issues
There is a genuine misconception that when an OBD trouble code is read, the component listed in the code should just be replaced. This isn’t always the case and can lead to costly and unnecessary repairs. The codes in fact refer to engine conditions being indicated by sensors. Most generic code readers are limited by their programming and are usually not advanced enough to test vehicle specific systems. A “MAF Sensor” title in a code doesn’t mean the sensor has failed, but rather gives the tech a code on where to begin their testing.
Can I replace the mass airflow sensor myself?
Just about anyone can replace a mass airflow sensor. They are usually removed with a clamp, or a screw, and have 1 electrical connector that sometimes can be a little tricky on some vehicles. Protecting the sensor while working is all there is to it, and some vehicles will reset associated codes when driving.
Bridwell Automotive Offers Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement In Scottsdale, Arizona
Our dedicated team of ASE Master Technicians will help you by replacing your mass airflow sensor quickly and within your budget. You can schedule your mass airflow sensor repair with Bridwell Automotive Center in Scottsdale by using our contact form. Stop by our Emission Repair Shop In Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.