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Sings and Symptoms of Bad MAF Sensor you Need to Know


The faulty mass airflow sensor and how to fix the problem. A vehicles MAF or mass airflow sensor, is the element that measures the density and flow of the air passing in to the combustion section. It assists the vehicles computer activate the air ratio to fuel. It is an important engine functional component.Hence when it starts to fail, you must get it replaced quickly.

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Monitor engine light:

The most trusted mass air flow sensor symptom is the illumination of the inspecting engine light on the material panel. Several kinds of issues may create the light to arrive on, therefore you should have the cars computer checked to verify whether the light is associated to the mass airflow sensor.


A car mechanic can assess a cars computer at a free of cost, or you can perform it yourself availing a digital car diagnostics scanner. The scanners are found at auto parts shops and they are effective differently, they are normally made to be plugged in to the vehicle OBD II diagnostic port, hence that they can check the computer data. The scanner will present one or more alphanumeric codes, that may be viewed up in a reference book which accompanies the scanner. If you perform this and the codes of the scanner refer to a non-performing mass air flow, you will want to get the MAF checked and possibly replaced. A cars mass air flow sensors are hardly replaced, because it is generally cheap to replace them.


Due to the reason mass air flow is instrumental in keeping right balance of fuel and air inside the engine. The failure of MAF can create different types of functional issues. Mass air flow sensor symptoms may include shuddering, low gas mileage, knocking, stalling or pinging. Other general automobile issues can also make these signs, hence they do not particularly show the failure of mass air flow.

Particle accumulation:

Certain times the mass air flow will not perform well due to the reason it is dirty. Even though the air that sent through the mass air flow is filtered, tiny particles will get by and deposit on the sensor. Mostly, this deposition will not be major sufficient to damage the MAF, but serious accumulation can cause disturbance. In this situations, you can restore it to total performance by eliminating and cleaning it.


The mass air flow is mounted to the cars air cleaner box and linked to the computer by having wiring harness. If you eliminate the bolts and wiring harness, you can also eliminate the whole MAF sensor device and open it to expose. The sensor is a tiny unit with the dual exposed wires, they heat up if the vehicle is running and the mass air flow measures the flow of air by identifying how fast the airflow cools the temperature of the wires. To clean the wires spraying with MAF cleaner or any electrical contact cleaner and allowing the mass air flow to dry is the good method to cleaning the instrument. When it is dry, you can re-install and the vehicle can also be started again. If engine function is restored or the inspection engine fast light goes off, it is possibly that the mass air flow was dirty. The MAF measures the quantity of air arriving in to the engine hence the ECU or engine control unit can measure how much gas and fuel injectors must supply to every cylinder to make the right fuel air proportion. Certain times, a malfunction in the instrument can result to major issues, generally leading in a bad engine function.

Mass air flow sensor symptoms:

The engine drags or unwilling when under load or idle, the engine stalls quickly after starting, the engine hiccups, jerks at the time of acceleration and the engine present abnormal lean or rich idling. If you understand that a false MAF can create a lean condition through underestimating the level of air flow in to the engine, you can also know how a faulty mass air flow sensor can be mistaken for a faulty fuel pump set. By getting the knowledge, it is possible that you can give a substitute solution to the problem. Due to the reason a process known as fuel mapping is availed to decide how much fuel is needed for the particular driving circumstances, new engine administration system usually depend on the exhaust gas sensor to know whether the sensor is having the problem. The PCM injects the measured level of fuel in to the car engine that leads in a positive fuel being shown on the scan tool. Paper, dirt and oil contamination create the most of the mass air flow sensor mistakes.

Dirt is established into the engine consumption air stream if the air filter is perforated or improperly placed. It fouls the sensor, clogs the air control and will quickly wear engine cylinder parts.With this, remember poor quality filters always shed paper fibers which deposit on the heated resistor and wire assembly. Oil from the serviced functional filter will be one of the reasons of MAF sensor problem. If a technician is hired to clean the sensor, it is essential to suggest that the service man avail a particularly designed sensor cleaner. Utilizing harsh solvent or carburetor cleaner will damage the sensitivity of the sensor. Remember that cleaning will not often restore ideal calibration.Hence lot of technicians like to replace the problematic mass air flow sensor assemblies.

Professional technician:

The pressure of fuel should be examined and stay correct by all ranges of engine function. The oxygen sensors should be operating perfectly to give an exact air ratio feedback to the PCM. The professional technician thinking the fuel and oxygen sensors are performing properly will usually avail furl trim numbers to check whether the mass air flow sensor is perfectly measuring the flow of air in to the engine. Most of the mass flow sensors identification needs professional expertise and tools.By familiarize with the fundamentals of MAF function, you can be able to give the mechanic certain useful suggestion and when required to advice him on the professional assistance in solving the air combination ratio report.

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Martha g.
Martha g.
3 years ago

If I replace the mass flow sensor in my 2004 Honda accord will the car stop jerking..and if so how much to replace it plus mechanic costs? Thanks I appreciate some input asap..

charles moore
charles moore
3 years ago
Reply to  Martha g.

If it is the MAF sensor. It would have to be checked and thoroughly inspected to diagnose it correctly. The ignition system should also be checked from start to finish. I also like to complete a compression test and a cylinder leak down test, The other thing that you would need to do is to make sure that there are no vacuum leaks as well. It all comes down to the diagnostic procedure that is performed,

Steve Harr
Steve Harr
3 years ago

Just bought a 1986 corvette L98 engine with 73K miles, it has sit for almost two years due to death of owner. Car ran and started good until I added gas….. When I got it I Replaced battery, no or very little gas init, so I put 1/2 can of sea foam in it with 1/2 tank of mid grade gas. Car would crank but not fire for about 30 seconds, then acted like it was rich, then fired and ran good. Stopped and same thing. Next task is to replace air filter, it has an aftermarket performance Throttle body… Read more »

Bienvenido Ragodon
Bienvenido Ragodon
3 years ago

I replace all sensor in my 2004 Nissan 350Z, ie; crankshaft sensor/ camshaft/ ignition module set and spark plug. Now test driving it it started having a pickup and hard starting w/c is what your describing. Will do as you suggest cleaning the MAF sensor first

3 years ago

I replace my mass airflow sensor about a year ago and now I starting to have problems with it again? why…

3 years ago

Just bought a maf for £28 on ebay, no probs up to now

Deborah G ODell
Deborah G ODell
3 years ago

I just replaced the Mass Air Flow Sensor in my 2003 Volkswagen Passat 1.8
And the check engine light is still on and now it’s flashing. And it still idle the wrong way. If you have any idea what it could be, please let me.

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