How To Tell if a Mass Air Flow Sensor is Bad

One of the mechanisms you will find in the system of a vehicle’s electronic fuel injection is the Mass airflow sensor. This particular component measures how much air is admitted into the vehicle’s engine. Usually located in the middle of the air filter and the car’s engine within the intake air duct, the Mass air flow sensor does its job, which in turn utilized by the engine computer to gauge the correct quantity of fuel infused on the cylinders to produce the least emissions and the most combustion. It is not uncommon to have troubles with the Mass air flow sensor. One problem is bad or impure Mass air flow sensor. This becomes the root of a vehicle stalling, usually when the car’s engine has turned cold, reduced acceleration, or misfiring, to name a few. Because of several things this particular problem could lead to, it is always important to determine if your MAF is in proper working condition. By knowing how to detect the signs, you can establish how to get the component to work properly and avoid unfortunate incidents later on. Here are some ways you will be able to know if your Mass air flow sensor has turned bad.

  • Recover trouble codes from the vehicle’s computer. With a scanning device, get your car’s trouble codes from its computer. You may also request any auto supply store to retrieve this code for you, in case you may not have the tools to do so. A lot of these stores offer this particular service for free.
  • Use a voltmeter. A voltmeter is a gadget that measures the possible voltage at the center of two ends in an electrical circuit. With your car running idle, measure your MAF sensor’s power output with this device. The initial reading you should see on the meter must have a voltage of about 2.5. Observe if this reading remains consistent after tapping the sensor with your finger. This voltage must go up smoothly as you try to increase the rpm of your car’s engine. Should you notice that the readings on your voltage are irregular, then the MAF sensor is not producing the suitable signal.
  • Examine your MAF sensor’s self-cleaning circuit relay. The engine computer of your car makes use of this relay to clean up the wire of your MAF sensor. Once a relay that is responsible for a particular circuit has been damaged, the computer of the vehicle is no longer capable of cleaning up the wire, which leaves it exposed to all sorts of impurities and dirt. When that happens, the MAF sensor is not able to perform its job properly. When in doubt as to how to go about checking on your relay, always read through the service manual of your vehicle.

There are a number of benefits you can enjoy by using a perfectly conditioned Mass air flow sensor which include an increase in the fuel efficiency of the car, a more reliable and much smoother engine reaction when doing quick changes on the throttle, and better engine performance, all in all. By being able to recognize the signs of MAF sensor problems, you will also be able to best determine your course of action to find a solution and restore it to its fully operational state.


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