Signs of a Malfunctioning Mass Airflow Sensor
As one can imagine, when the air and fuel within your vehicle’s engine are not in proper balance, there are noticeable problems. Faulty sensors will trigger the check engine light. There are many reasons you shouldn’t drive with a bad mass airflow sensor.
Reduced or Jerky Acceleration
When the air and fuel mixture is not in proper balance, this can result in a lagging vehicle that fails to accelerate properly and smoothly. Drivers may also notice a jerking condition and/or a popping noise from the intake of the engine when they press down on the gas, which can be caused by an air and fuel combination that’s considerably too lean. (This means too little fuel to the amount of air). Basically, the vehicle isn’t receiving the proper amount of energy that it needs to run and accelerate as it should and it will struggle.
When you turn the key in the ignition or press the start button in your vehicle, a faulty mass airflow sensor can cause the engine not to start normally. Without the correct proportion of air to fuel, the engine takes longer to crank or may not start at all. At best, if the MAF sensor is faulty, the engine will run poorly.
Increased Fuel Consumption
When the engine isn’t receiving the proper air-to-fuel ratio, this can cause changes to fuel consumption. If you’ve noticed your mileage going down this may be due to a bad sensor. It’s recommended that you bring your vehicle to a mechanical repair shop quickly, as this can cause long-term damage to the engine and result in a costly repair.
Black Smoke from Exhaust
If you’ve noticed smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, this can be the result of an air and fuel combination that has become too rich. This means there is too much fuel to the amount of air that is measured by the mass air flow sensor that is entering into the engine and not enough air (rich condition). When there is too much fuel to the amount of air, the combustion is incomplete and the excess hydrocarbons come out of the exhaust as black smoke.
When the engine isn’t able to determine how much fuel is needed, it can result in a misfire. The MAF sensor is responsible for providing a key input into the PCM which affects the fuel-to-air ratio required for the current driving conditions. Without this insight, the engine is prone to misfiring from an incorrect calculation of fuel to air.
Idling Engine? Black Smoke? We’ll Take a Look!
If you’ve noticed any of the aforementioned signs of a bad mass airflow sensor, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. At Northwest Auto Center of Houston, we’ll investigate the root cause of the problem and provide a diagnosis and a repair solution. Don’t drive with a faulty sensor, as this can put you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road at risk.