Blogs

Signs My Car Needs a New Mass Airflow Sensor

Most automobiles have mass airflow sensors. You can check your owner’s manual to see if yours does. If it does, you may never need to worry about the sensor. This being said, the sensor can get too dirty and malfunction in some cases. The sensor can also go bad. We are going to list below signs that your car needs a new mass airflow sensor.

Illuminated CEL

The engine control unit keeps track of everything that is going on in the engine while your vehicle is running. If the MAF sensor malfunctions, the unit will receive an error code. It will turn on the check engine light to alert you of the error. We can get the code with the diagnostic test.

Performance Lag

You may also start to have problems with your engine’s performance. The MAF sensor provides the engine control unit with incoming air data. If it malfunctions and the data is incorrect, the unit may add air to the combustion chamber and create a lean fuel mixture.

Performance Surge

The opposite can also occur, and the unit can add fuel to the chamber and create a rich fuel mixture based on skewed MAF data. If this happens, your engine will pick up speed unexpectedly in spurts. It will feel as if you are riding a bucking bronco.

Rotten Gas Mileage

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if your engine is lagging or surging. It will consume more fuel in both conditions and reduce your fuel economy. With gas as high as it is today, it is less expensive to replace the MAF sensor than it is to fill your tank more often over time.

Dark Engine Exhaust

The engine may also start to release dark exhaust if the MAF sensor has convinced the engine control unit that there needs to be additional fuel in the combustion chamber. Consequently, the engine will burn away the fuel and this is what produces the excess exhaust.

Difficult Starts

Finally, this imbalance of air and fuel can also make it difficult to start your automobile. There may not be enough fuel in the combustion chamber for combustion, or the engine may be flooded with fuel. Either way, starting the vehicle can be hard.

We are here to help, so give us a call today. We will set up an appointment for your automobile that works with your schedule. If we need to replace the mass airflow sensor, we will. If cleaning it will resolve the problem, we will clean it.

Photo by MilosStankovic from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro