Common error codes include P0299 (if turbocharger is fitted), P0300, P0101, P0102 and P0171. These symptoms indicate a MAF that has a contaminated hot wire. Can a Bad Sensor Prevent a Car From Starting. Pay special attention to possible shorts to ground or open circuits produced by a faulty insulation.

A bad mass air flow sensor will usually trigger a check engine light. The amount of fuel must be kept in line with the amount of air coming in. If the mass air flow sensor isn't working properly then you will be faced with one or more symptoms such as lack of power and bad fuel economy.

If you push down on the accelerator, the engine will need more fuel to increase the rate at which the pistons are moved. In my experience, if the engine is performing very badly, then the sensor may be worn as well as dirty. This information is used by the Electronic Controller Unit (ECU) to determine the amount of fuel needed to achieve the stoichiometric ratio consisting of 14.7 parts of air per each part of fuel. If there is no voltage (or is below 4V) then you must check the continuity and electrical resistance of the wire from the terminal all the way to the ECU itself. If your scan tool has a graphing ability turn it on. A failure to deliver the exact amount of fuel to the engine, will affect the fuel to air ratio in the combustion chambers.

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You could also lock on screen the MAF output voltage if you can’t find its calculated value.

Obviously, replacing the MAF sensor is needed in this case. The name “hot-wire” is a direct reference to the sensor design where a thin filament is heated to a constant temperature by an electronic controller. If your car isn't starting or has a hard time starting, a faulty sensor may be to blame.

If your vehicle has a performance air filter fitted, these too can shorten the lifespan of the MAF sensor. The mass air flow sensor (MAF) data is vital for fuel delivery control. Clean the surface of the MAF sensor.

This equates to more air into the engine or less air into the engine.

It will probably cost more, but it will last longer.

I suspect a failing crankshaft position sensor as well.

Compare your vehicle’s components with known-good signals for accurate diagnosis and quick repair.

If you are going to replace the MAF yourself, then I'd always recommend buying an OEM mass air flow sensor. YourMechanic All rights reserved. For more information on mass air flow sensors, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. Similar to the previous point, if you are driving uphill, towing, or demanding power from your engine,  you will find a serious hesitation due to lack of proper information regarding air mass entering the engine. Repairs covered by 12-month/12,000-mile warranty. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. The mass air flow sensor measures the air mass flowing into the engine intake. A bad mass air flow sensor is often the likely culprit if your car isn't running as it should. It's job is to report, in real time, the mass of air entering the engine. Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST. > Data trouble codes: using an OBD2 code reader take note of any DTC present in the ECU memory.

Your email address will not be published. If the light remains off you may have an intermittent problem. Hi there - there are 2 failures in particular that are likely candidates at your mileage level - a failed timing belt, and a fuel pump malfunction.

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It shows how to clean the MAF sensor on a Volkswagen Golf by removing it from the vehicle. The fix is as simple as cleaning the MAF sensor with an approved cleaner, which the technicians at YourMechanic can do for you if they determine that this is the root problem.

The job of the mass air flow sensor is to keep track of the amount of air coming in through the air filter, so that the ECU can adjust the amount of fuel getting into the engine. Several sensors and actuators come into play, such as the mass air fuel (MAF) sensor and fuel injectors, and just as with any other car part, these sensors and actuators can degrade over time.


That process could take half a second to a second, more than enough to perceive the hesitation. This is because the ECU will detect an out of range value coming from the MAF sensor and the check engine light is its way of letting you know that something is wrong.

The MAF sensor is usually located between the throttle body and the air filter housing. If you have a bad MAF sensor, the engine control module (ECM) cannot calculate fuel injection correctly, which can lead to larger issues with your vehicle. A trained technician will have to look at fuel trim status with the use of a scan tool to verify this.

There are variations of hot-wire technology too.

Ensure that the ignition key is switched off and unplug the MAF sensor harness connector. Remove the mass air flow sensor. Talent and passion for what you do in any field is critical, Raymond seems to have both.

Depending on the year and make of the vehicle, you may find different types of mass air flow sensors, from the old-style vane air flow meter to the modern era hot-wire mass air flow meter. Acceleration might require a rich AFR, up to 12:1, while cruising requires a leaner AFR, sometimes as low as 22:1.

Depending on the vehicle year and maker the ECU may not compensate for this failure during idle. Most of the time, the MAF sensor itself will not fail completely, and instead, will just stop sending an accurate air flow reading to the ECU.

A MAF sensor that continuously over-reports or under-reports airflow into the engine will cause an engine to run rich or lean. A digital output is instantly interpreted by the ECU without the need of passing the signal through ECU’s analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Another important factor to consider is the MAF signal output.

In order to know the air mass, you do need air volume but also air temperature and barometric pressure.

To compensate for the bigger holes in a performance air filter, it's important to regularly apply oil to the filter.

A completely failed MAF sensor will not send any airflow information to the PCM.

Look for bent terminal pins, loosely connections, corrosion or any other possible indication of a bad connection. Without this power line, the MAF would shut-off immediately. Here are the basic steps involved in cleaning a mass air flow sensor. There shouldn't be any dirt on this side of the air filter, but sometimes if the air filter is dirty and has not been changed in a long time then dirt can accumulate here. (Keep that in mind during diagnostics).

After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. To clean the sensor surface, you should only use a Mass Air Flow Sensor cleaner (MAF cleaner) or electrical contact cleaner. Car sensors monitor data to keep your car running smoothly. ©

There are a number of driveability issues that arise from faulty MAF sensors.

It’s not unusual to have more than one ground coming from the ECU, especially on integrated designs.

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It's also important not to use too much oil and to allow the filter to dry before fitting, so as not to contaminate the MAF sensor with the oil. A bad mass air flow sensor won't reliably measure the amount of air coming in through the air filter, resulting in a delay in the fuel delivery during sudden acceleration and a temporary lack of power. One is on the exhaust manifold and one is near the EGR valve.

Here are some of the most common bad mass air flow symptoms that you will typically come across. Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. You may find MAF designs with integrated IAT and sometimes BARO sensors. Automotive diagnostic scanner with live data capabilities. How to Buy a Good Quality Mass Airflow Sensor, How to Replace an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Temperature Sensor.

Sometimes you may be able to extend the life of the mass air flow sensor by cleaning it.

He knows what he is doing. They may differ from vehicle to vehicle, so it's a good idea to refer to a service manual if possible. > Ground test: this test assumes that you found a good reference voltage coming from the ECU. > Sensor harness connector: similar than before, perform an exhaustive visual inspection of MAF sensor connector. The symptoms of a bad mass air flow sensor include a car that is difficult to start, bad fuel economy, a rough idle, lack of power especially when accelerating and sometimes a fuel smell from the exhaust fumes.

Repeat this test for each of the MAF ground signals. A dirty MAF sensor will affect things like fuel economy and may cause a delay in acceleration, but usually won't cause a misfire or engine cut out. It is ok to slowly drive a short distance to a repair shop, or to your house if you know that the MAF sensor is faulty, but you should really change or clean the MAF as soon as possible to avoid damage to the engine. Common signs of problems with a mass airflow sensor include running rich at idle or lean under load, decrease in fuel efficiency, and rough idles.

Most mass air flow sensors use hot-wire technology. The sensor’s integrated controller is in charge of monitoring that current and then report it to the ECU.

Once you are ready start the engine to enter KOER mode.

Recommended tools: digital multimeter (DMM).

After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Once again, enter in KOEO mode, turn the digital multimeter dial to “voltage” test mode and place one probe tip on the MAF harness terminal corresponding to the reference voltage and the other on the terminal that should be the ground.

Depending on ECU’s program sophistication and installed sensors, the vehicle start can be very difficult. Now place one multimeter probe in a known ground (use battery negative again) and the other probe tip in the terminal of the MAF sensor wiring harness corresponding to the +12V supply. Here's a video that explains the process. You’ll notice if the tailpipes eject … A MAF sensor that behaves like this will require replacement. This might cause a rough idle or even an engine dying occasionally while idling.

The resulting lines should be similar, increasing and decreasing simultaneously. This prevents the PCM from accurately controlling fuel, which will result in an engine that either will idle roughly or not at all. In other words,  without the MAF data, the ECU would be nearly blind regarding air flow making very difficult a proper fuel delivery.

Air Intake System with Mass Air Flow Sensor.

Due to its location in the engine, the mass airflow sensor can regularly be exposed to a wide range of temperatures from freezing to well over 100 degrees. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. The main difference between an analog mass air flow sensor and a digital one is its output. If the light lit during your driving cycle then continue with the diagnostic process. Check out all the sensors available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs.


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