How Can I Tell When My Mass Airflow Sensor Is Dirty?

We talked about the oxygen sensor in a previous blog post; now, let’s talk about the mass airflow (MAF) sensor. This sensor tracks the outside air that flows into your engine. As you already know, this air is routed into the combustion chamber to be ignited with fuel. The mass airflow sensor rarely dies, but it can get dirty and this will cause it to malfunction. Fairfax Auto Repair lists the signs of a dirty mass airflow sensor below.

Acceleration/Engine Hesitation

One thing a dirty MAF sensor will do will cause hesitation in your vehicle’s acceleration and engine performance. You won’t get the response that you normally get from your automobile when you press down on the accelerator. This is a sign that there is too much air in the combustion chamber and not enough fuel. This imbalance could be caused by the dirty mass airflow sensor.

Black Engine Exhaust

If there is an imbalance that results in excess fuel in the combustion chamber, your automobile may release black exhaust smoke as you drive. When the MAF sensor malfunctions, it sends incorrect messages to the engine control module, and, as a consequence, you may end up with your engine burning away excess fuel.

Difficulty Starting the Engine

A malfunctioning MAF sensor can also make it difficult to get your car, truck, or utility vehicle started. Again, this is because there is an incorrect mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. This mixture may be so off-balance that the spark plugs cannot ignite it.

Reduced Fuel Economy

If your vehicle is not running efficiently, your fuel economy will take a hit. Unfortunately, you will find yourself heading to the service station more often until such time as you get the MAF sensor cleaned. Once cleaned, this should restore the mass airflow sensor’s normal functionality.

Rough Engine Idle

We talked about a hesitating engine above, and you will also notice the idle has gotten quite rough. Any time there is an imbalance of air and fuel in the combustion chamber, it can affect how smoothly your engine idles.

Surging Engine

Finally, if the faulty MAF sensor has increased the fuel in the combustion chamber, you may feel as if your automobile has turned into a bucking bronco. Your engine will surge in your vehicle will pick up speed sporadically while you are driving.

Stop by Fairfax Auto Repair in Fairfax, VA, today if you suspect you got a problem with your automobile’s mass airflow sensor. We’d be happy to inspect it and address the problem.

Call Fairfax Auto Repair at 703-822-5911 for an appointment today!

photo by Midia from Pexels via Canva Pro

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