Seven Signs Your Mass Airflow Sensor Is Dirty Or Going Bad

The mass airflow sensor is also called the MAF. This auto part measures how much air is being drawn into your vehicle’s engine to make sure that the engine control module can keep the right balance of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the mass airflow sensor is dirty, it won’t be able to detect the correct airflow. Advanced Automotive advises that it will also cause problems if it is going bad.

1. Black Exhaust

One sign that your vehicle’s MAF is going bad is black exhaust from excess fuel. Too much fuel can wind up in the combustion chamber if the MAF is not sending correct readings to the engine control module. The additional fuel can also clog the catalytic converter.

2. Check Engine

A faulty mass airflow sensor is a common reason why a check engine light comes on. If the engine control module receives a MAF error code, it will turn on the check engine light to let you know that there is a problem with the engine.

3. Hard Starts

When you fire up your automobile, the combustion chamber needs both air and fuel for the spark plugs to ignite. If the MAF is dirty or bad, you may end up with too much air and be unable to get your automobile started.

4. Hesitation

An air and fuel imbalance can also cause your vehicle to hesitate or surge when you depress the accelerator and while you are driving. The hesitation indicates there is too much air in the combustion chamber. Surging means there is too much gas.

5. Poor Gas Economy

If your vehicle’s mass airflow sensor is erring rich, i.e., causing too much gas to be burned in the combustion chamber, you will notice a significant reduction in your fuel economy. If you are going to the gas station more often than normal, it could be the MAF.

6. Rough Idle

Another problem with a lean or rich fuel mixture is idling. If the engine is being starved of fuel, it will idle roughly, but it will also idle roughly if it’s being flooded by gasoline. Your vehicle should always idle smoothly.

7. Trouble Accelerating

As we touched upon briefly above, you will notice acceleration problems if you don’t have the right balance of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. This could be caused by a problem with the mass airflow sensor.

Advanced Automotive is the best auto shop in Stanwood, WA. Schedule an appointment with us today so we can inspect your automobile to make sure that your mass airflow sensor is functioning as it should be.

Photo by Mariia Demchenko from Getty Images via Canva Pro