The engine of a car is equipped with mass airflow sensors (MAF) that measure the volume and density of the air entering the engine. In this way the vehicle’s computer can calculate how much fuel is needed to maintain the correct fuel mixture. Problems with mass air flow sensors are common, but they rob the engine efficiency of your car, so if you notice that your car doesn’t run properly you should verify the MAF, this could start to fail and the best way is to replace it. Noting the symptoms of the MAF impending failure:
By the time the Check Engine Light illuminates on your dashboard, there is a symptom that the mass airflow sensor failed. But to be sure that this is the problem you must check the car’s computer.
For MAF sensor problems you can analyze the computer yourself by attaching a digital scanner on the vehicle’s housing circuit and scan for any fault codes. You can find scanners at auto shops and if some of them work differently they all have the same function. If there are trouble codes that may indicate a deficiency in the MAF you can check them in the user instruction manual of the scanner. If you found out the problems are with the mass airflow sensor, you should take the care to an auto service and the best way is to replace it. Rarely happens to be repaired.
When your engine runs lean a failure of the MAF ca be the cause, but there is not a rule because it may indicate other problems than trouble with the MAF. Although if you have trouble in running the engine and this one is idling erratically, tries to stall or the throttle actually decreases at highway speeds or the engine hiccup when the throttle changes position, these can be the symptoms of a MAF failure.
In some situations, mass airflow sensor begins to fail due to contamination. In some cases there is the oil contamination, in other cases, dirt. In both cases, if the mass airflow sensor becomes dirty, the fix is to clean it.
The mass airflow sensor can be removed from the car’s air filter housing. Spray the sensor’s wires with electronics cleaner ONLY and let the MAF dry before you reinstall it. Start the car and if engine’s efficiency increases and the Check Engine Light is off, the problem is eliminated.