How To Check for Defective Mass Air Flow Sensors? [Symptoms]

Are you getting poor performance from your engine? If yes, you must think about some possible causes that damage your car engine. Defective Mass Air Flow can be a probable reason, and you should try to fix it now. 

For that, you need to know how to detect whether the Mass Air Flow Sensor is working properly or not. Mass Air Flow sensor helps to determine the mass of the air that the engine injects from the fuel injector. 

The Airflow sensor passes the “mass of the air data” to the ECU(Engine Control Unit). ECU calculates the correct amount of fuel that would need for the engine to run with balanced performance. 

So, if you’re having performance issues with your vehicle, you can check for the possible symptom of your faulty Mass Air Flow Sensors.

When Should You Check for The Defects of Mass Air Flow Sensor? 

Basically, most people check for the defects in their MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensors within 6 months from the installation date. Also, right after the change of the oil, you can think to check defects and clean the sensor. By taking proper care and maintenance, you can extend the air filter life and make it 10,000 to 12,000 miles drivable. 

How To Check for Defective Mass Air Flow Sensors?

I assume you’re driving around and got the engine light tumbled down and stays steadily. For this, there is a most possible solution.  Just follow the steps below:-

  • Firstly, start your car up and locate the MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensor. You’ll find it beside the air cleaner. 
  • Check the blackhose going down inside the Car. Along there, find out the Air Flow Sensor. (right next to the air cleaner box).
  • While the engine is running, you just need to disconnect the electrical harness.
  • Check if the car gets stopped. If it is stopped after the disconnection of electrical harness, that means the MAF is working properly.
  • Else, there are defects caused anyhow with your MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensor. 

Now, you’ve successfully figured out whether your vehicle runs with a defective Mass Air Flow sensor or not.

What Are The Symptoms To Check For Defects in Mass Air Flow Sensors?

Here I’ll discuss the symptoms that you should check to identify defective Mass Air Flow sensors in your vehicle. Keep scrolling!

1. Hard Starting

Starting the engine consumes more fuel than the idling position. But the ECM can’t create enough fuel emissions that are needed to make the engine on. It occurs only when the MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensor doesn’t work properly.  

2. Hesitation or Frequent Jerking While Acceleration

 Whenever your car drops its performance that means probable issues should’ve been raised. So, you need to check for the exact problem that is possible with the current state of your vehicle. Proper work of MAF can be a possible reason to be so. 

It can be experienced on a long drive like cruising down to the city street, speeding up on the highways. So, this situation may get worse and cause severe injuries through car accidents.

3. Rich Air Fuel Ratio

To get a robust and reliable driving experience, you must maintain proper fuel to air ratio. Running rich in fuel causes a lack of air supply that is not enough either to run properly. Check the signs mentioned below to detect your vehicle has issues. 

  • Worse fuel efficiency than the regular consumption
  • Black smoking emitting from the tailpipe
  • Rough idling
  • Check out the engine light

You will face the issues mostly when the MAF sensor gets defected somehow and the wires are coated with a high amount of specks of dirt. So, it can’t measure the airflow accurately.  Therefore, it sends the information incorrectly to the ECM. (Engine Control Unit). Overestimated data causes too much fuel release. 

4. Too lean Air Fuel Ratio

It is opposite to the rich air-fuel ratio. So, if your vehicle has too little fuel and too much air supply, it causes issues with MAF. This time, the MAF sensor will send incorrect underestimated data to the ECM, resulting very poor driving experience. Though I can say that lean fuel air-fuel ratio would improve fuel efficiency temporarily, It won’t be efficient considering longevity. Rather, you may face serious damage to your vehicle, getting injured as a result. 

How to Clean a Defective Mass Air Flow Sensor?

You have to clean the defective Mass Air Flow Sensor either every six months or whenever you change the oil of your vehicle. Cleaning your air filter is both worth saving time and money. Here’re the steps to cleaning your MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensor. 

Step 1: Remove The Sensor

Locate the sensor and remove it by taking it out. Open the airbox of your vehicle and use screwdrivers to unplug it. Beware of not touching wires due to the possible damages breaking the wires. 

Step 2: Clean The Sensor

The cheapest way to clean the sensor is using a plastic bag filled with rubbing alcohol.  Move the bag around and make sure it clears all the dirt from the sensor.  Another way to clean is to purchase a MAF cleaner from any auto parts store. Just spray it and it will remove the dirts. 

Step 3: Dry and Reinstalling the Sensor

After cleaning the sensor, just keep it so for at least 20 minutes or more. Ensure the sensor becomes completely dry before reinstalling it to your vehicle. Else, it might get damaged. If everything is done well, you’re all set to go. Just reinstall it now. 

Final Thoughts

Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor may cause severe car accidents on a particular road trip. It calculates the total amount of fuel entering the engine. Make sure the air is not too much and fuel too less or vice-versa. Everything should be kept balanced. 

For this, the Mass Air Flow Sensor needs to work properly so that it can estimate the fuel and air supply ratio accurately.

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