What does the Mass Airflow Sensor do?
The Mass Airflow Sensor (or MAF) monitors the amount of air entering your vehicle. Your vehicle’s onboard computer then uses this information to determine how much fuel needs to enter the engine.
Your vehicle will have a specific air / fuel ratio for optimum engine performance (normally around 14 parts of air to 1 part of fuel). The mass airflow sensor calculates the necessary amount of fuel to keep the air / fuel ratio at a healthy level. This results in smoother driving, fewer misfires and improved fuel economy.
When does the Mass Airflow Sensor need replacement?
Mass airflow sensors have no specified replacement intervals in most vehicles’ scheduled maintenance lists. However, the sensor is fragile and prone to contamination over time.
As large amounts of air enter your vehicle, so will large amounts of dust, dirt and other contaminants. Your vehicle’s air filter prevents these contaminants from passing through the MAF and entering the vehicle. If the air filter becomes damaged, these contaminants can flow into your vehicle, clogging the mass airflow sensor. Routine replacement of your car’s air filter will keep your MAF in good condition, greatly extending its life.
Signs of a Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor:
There are several common signs of a MAF in need of replacement or cleaning. These include:
- The Check Engine light turning on.
- Your car uses more fuel than normal.
- Your engine has less power than normal
- Your exhaust emissions are higher than normal
- The engine operates roughly, surges. hesitates, stalls, vibrates, or idles poorly
- Your exhaust pipe blows more black smoke than expected when engine is running (running rich)
- Your car shows fault codes specifying that the air/fuel mixture is too lean or too rich.
- Your engine runs hotter than normal due to a lean mixture
Mass Airflow Sensor Cleaning and Replacement
A common solution to a dirty mass airflow sensor is removing the component and cleaning it. This will allow the sensor to make accurate readings, resulting in a better air / fuel ratio in your vehicle.
Many Mass Air Flow Meters use a Hot Wire or other heated sensor element that measure the amount of air flow into the engine by change in temperature of the heated element. It is critical this heated element is clean to ensure the air flowing over it can correctly change its temperature.
Air Flow Meters also often have an Air Temperature sensor and an Atmospheric / Barometric Pressure sensor in them as well. These sensor also need to be clean to operate correctly.
If the MAF is critically damaged, it may need to be replaced altogether. In this case, our team of trained, experienced and qualified mechanics can remove and replace the sensor for you. This will allow for improved engine power, decreased fuel consumption, reduced emissions and greater engine reliability. Our skilled and trust worthy team of mechanics are also able to provide air filter replacement for your vehicle.
For reliable mechanics in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!