Yes, the mass air flow sensor’s main job is to read and measure the amount of oxygen that comes into the engine, to keep the best air-to-fuel ratio to improve performance. So, in that case, a bad mass air flow sensor can cause transmission problems like stalling, rough idle, hard shifting, or even no shifting.
If you are experiencing those problems while driving, then you should check your MAF as soon as possible. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about the MAF sensor, so stick around until the end to find out what you’ve been looking for.
Table of Contents
- What are the symptoms of a bad mass airflow sensor?
- What are the transmission problems caused by a bad MAF?
- How to test a mass airflow sensor?
- Can you drive with a bad mass air flow sensor?
- How much does it cost to repair MAF?
- Special discussion; Why would a vehicle run better with the mass airflow sensor unplugged?
- Some related FAQs.
What are the symptoms of a bad mass airflow sensor?
The mass airflow sensor won’t be able to identify the proper airflow if it is dusty. According to Advanced Automotive, if it is failing, it will also result in issues. So the following are the main symptoms of a bad mass air flow sensor.
- Check engine light.
Circuit diagnostic error codes might be to blame for this. However, fuel trim and misfire codes can potentially harm a mass air flow sensor. The codes can be discovered with an OBD scanner, and if P0101-Mass Air Flow Sensor Circuit Range/Performance is one of them, a filthy MAF sensor might be the cause.
- Acceleration problems.
If you’re experiencing trouble passing or accelerating into traffic on the highway, the ECM may be limiting injection because of issues with the MAF sensor. This is mainly due to the wrong readings in the air-to-fuel ratio.
- Hard starting
When your vehicle is hard to start with no visible problem, then it is best to check the mass airflow sensor for any issues. If you find something, then it is time to repair or replace the MAF.
- Low fuel efficiency.
If the mass airflow sensor measurements are incorrect, the ECM may potentially inject an excessive amount of gas into the combustion chamber. You will get less mileage as a result because your car will burn off any extra fuel it doesn’t require.
- Car hesitates.
Your car may have poor driving characteristics due to a faulty MAF sensor, like stalling, jerking, or reluctance when accelerating.
Can a bad mass airflow sensor cause a misfire?
Yes, for sure, a misfire can happen when the MAF goes bad. A faulty mass airflow or oxygen sensor could provide inaccurate data to the engine’s electronics, resulting in a misfire. A vacuum line break might result in a fuel-injected engine misfiring.
What are the transmission problems caused by a bad MAF?
A MAF sensor can exhibit very subtle symptoms of malfunction. On initial takeoff, it may result in an erratic or incorrect signal, lengthening the shift. At higher engine speeds, it may send the wrong signal, causing a shudder that might be mistaken for torque-converter-clutch (TCC) issues.
- Hard shifting
- Late shifting
- Soft shifting
- No shifting
- Faulty clutch
These are the main transmission problems, that are caused by a bad MAF, and if you are experiencing these problems for a considerable amount of time, you should hire a mechanic and check your MAF.
How to test a mass airflow sensor?
Testing a mass air flow sensor is not a very hard task, but you will need some tools to perform the task.
If you know your MAF sensor is a high-frequency kind (newer vehicle model), you can use a voltmeter capable of measuring frequency when carrying out these tests.
You can use a digital multimeter to measure vehicle speed if you have an outdated car model with a low-frequency type MAF sensor (tachometer, rpm). Consult your car’s repair manual if necessary.
To view the Parameter Identification Data (PID) for the MAF sensor, connect a scan tool. Depending on engine size, the MAF’s PID value should be between 2 and 7 grams per second (g/s) at idle and rise to between 15 and 25 g/s at 2500 rpm.
The majority of manufacturers provide specifications for airflow at idle, though some do so for a range of engine speeds. In ALLDATA, under “Scan Tool Testing and Procedures,” you can find manufacturers’ PID value charts with these parameters.
What is a normal mass airflow sensor reading?
Depending on engine size, the MAF’s PID value should be between 2 and 7 grams per second (g/s) at idle and rise to between 15 and 25 g/s at 2500 rpm.
Can you drive with a bad mass air flow sensor?
Yes, you can still drive with a bad mass airflow sensor. But you will face the problems that we’ve mentioned and described in this content.
So it is not good to run with a bad MAF, because you will have to face severe problems with time and the repair costs will be very high in the end.
What I want to say is, that you can still run with a bad MAF, but you should not do it if you love your vehicle’s long life.
How much does it cost to repair MAF?
For the majority of passenger automobiles, trucks, and SUVs, replacing the mass airflow sensor should cost $300 or less in components and labor.
The MAF sensor ($300) should be replaced at that point, according to the car manufacturer. But if you periodically clean your car’s MAF sensor, you can save $300 in repairs and maintain peak engine performance. Only roughly $7 is spent on the mass air flow cleaner.
Special discussion; Why would a vehicle run better with the mass airflow sensor unplugged?
If the car runs better when the mass airflow sensor is unplugged, what you need to understand is that the reading of the MAF that it has been given so far is entirely wrong.
Fuel supply will be excessive without the MAP sensor, which could harm the engine and exhaust system (catalytic converters). Your car’s acceleration, bogging down, and reacceleration, as it approaches the freeway, sounds like it is running out of fuel. It can be a problem with the fuel pump or a clogged fuel filter.
As the MAF is designed to improve the performance of a vehicle, a vehicle should run better when the MAF is plugged in. But when this does not happen, you should repair or replace the MAF as soon as possible.
Sometimes a simple cleaning will do the trick for you, but if the case is severe, you will have to replace the MAF with a new one, which will cost almost 300 USD.
Some related FAQs.
Does cleaning a mass airflow sensor work?
As part of routine maintenance, cleaning the MAF can help to lessen and/or prevent these issues.
Cleaning the MAF sensor can help and frequently can solve the issue if it is that sensor that is malfunctioning.
This can be done at home. Simply pull the part out, clean it, and then put it back on your engine’s air intake system.
Is a MAP sensor the same as a MAF sensor?
A MAP sensor is typically found attached to the intake manifold, in contrast to a MAF sensor, which is always situated before the throttle body. A MAF sensor will also have its own housing (often plastic) to retain it in place because it is in the intake tract.
What is the code for the mass air flow sensor?
The mass airflow (MAF) sensor counts how much air is blown into the engine. When the mass air flow sensor’s measurement of the amount of air entering the engine is outside the manufacturer’s recommended range, the check engine light is illuminated with the code P0101.