3 Common Mass Air Flow Sensor Problems

Mass Air Flow Sensor Problems are common. Malfunctioning sensors will cause a variety of problems such as poor acceleration, misfiring and stalling. It becomes troublesome to drive the car and the situation is made worse during the cold season. A malfunctioning sensor may be contaminated, broken or poorly installed.

An MAFS is an instrument that calculates or measures the amount of air or oxygen that enters the car engine. This data is important because it is used by the ECU (engine control unit) to balance and supply the right amount of fuel to the car engine. The MAF sensor consists of a casing which houses the sensing unit. This case is located between the air pipe and air filter. Screws are used to firmly attach the sensing unit within the casing. Inside the sensing unit, there is an electronic circuit and a hot film. The car engine needs about 14.8 kg of air or oxygen to burn the fuel. The intake of air or oxygen has to be controlled so that an appropriate air-to-fuel ratio can be achieved. The MAFS will indicate the volume of air supply and when the right mix is obtained, it will activate the engine control unit, thus reducing or cutting the air supply.

The sensors or detectors in the MAF device may be contaminated and this will cause all the familiar problems in the car such as stalling, hesitation, rough idle and hard starting.

1- Performance Problems

When the MAF sensor is faulty, the vehicle will exhibit a wide range of performance problems. However, before you rush to conclusions, you must find out if the above problems are caused by your MAF sensor or not. Normally a car with MAFS problems will indicate errors, for example, engine cutout, increased fuel consumption, decreased performance and erratic engine operation. The MAF system may also show wrong readings when the induction pipe is leaking, the air-filters are blocked, the fuel re-circulation valve is defective and when the ventilation valves in the tank are faulty. You need to go to an auto shop or garage to get a complete diagnosis of your MAFS problems. They have special equipment that can read error messages and other abnormal activity.

2 - Oil and Dirt Contamination

The MAFS system will have faults when it is contaminated. The sensing device is a very sensitive part. It consists of a meter that contains a hot film. This meter is very sensitive and it can easily be contaminated by oil or dirt particles. When the car is moving, it collects dirt and dust from the environment and these may alter the readings of the MAFS. Vibrations will also cause mis-readings.The oil that affects the MAFS may come from oily air filters. When you have a faulty MAFS it will send wrong or fake signals to the computer system, and the computer system will in turn activate other parts of the car to which it is linked to. You can increase the lifespan of the MAFS by replacing the air filters on a regular basis.

3 - Check Engine Light

If you have mass air flow sensor (MAFS) problems, then you will also notice some car lights coming on. These are the (service engine) and (check engine) lights. These lights come on when the car computer system finds faults or problems in the emission control.