Blogs

A Lit Check Engine Light Can Point to a Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

If the check engine light has turned on in your car, truck, or C/SUV, it’s possible that you have a faulty mass airflow (MAF) sensor. Vielhaber’s Garage advises that the sensor usually goes bad if it gets dirty and needs to be cleaned. We can clean your MAF sensor or replace it for you. Aside from the check engine warning, here are other signs of a malfunctioning MAF sensor.

Engine Performance Problems

Engine performance problems such as hesitation and sputtering tend to accompany a dirty MAF sensor because the engine control unit is tricked into putting too much air into the combustion chamber. This is because the MAF sensor sends incorrect air inflow data to the unit. Cleaning or replacing the sensor will resolve this problem.

An Engine Idle That Is Rough

When there is too much air in the combustion chamber, the engine will also idle roughly. This is an easy sign to notice because you can feel and hear what your engine is doing when you are sitting at a stop with it running.

An Engine That Surges Erratically

The opposite can also occur with a dirty MAF sensor. It may send data that makes the engine control unit think that the combustion chamber needs more fuel when it actually doesn’t. This will cause your engine to pick up speed erratically.

A Reduction in the Gas Mileage

The performance issues listed above can cause a reduction in your vehicle’s gas mileage because the engine is burning through excess fuel. It will burn more fuel when it struggles to run, and it will burn the extra fuel that is sent to the combustion chamber. Consequently, you need to resolve the underlying problem to restore your fuel economy.

Black Engine Exhaust Smoke

It might seem strange, but a malfunctioning mass airflow sensor can also indirectly cause black exhaust smoke to flow out of the tailpipe. This happens when the engine is burning too much fuel. Again, cleaning or replacing the sensor will solve the problem.

Difficulty Starting the Engine

Finally, if the combustion chamber is starved of air and fuel, it will be difficult to get your engine started. This problem can be traced back to the faulty mass airflow sensor that is sending incorrect air inflow data to the engine control unit.

Call Vielhaber’s Garage in Findlay, OH, today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if it is doing any of the things listed above.

Photo by BDoty from Getty Images via Canva Pro