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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Mass Airflow Sensor?

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

A mass airflow (MAF) sensor is an auto part fitted in modern cars to measure the amount of air drawn into your engine. Air mass measure to ensure that the engine control module keeps the air and fuel balance in the combustion chamber. From that, you can see the role of MAF is important.

However, this MAF sensor can be bad or degraded with time and usage, resulting in serious auto issues. Here are seven symptoms that can help you with early detection and finding a solution to fix the problem in time.

Seven Symptoms Of A Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

Seven Symptoms Of A Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

To determine when to replace your vehicle’s faulty mass airflow sensor, you must be aware of these and carefully examine your car.

Check the Engine Light On

The glowing Check Engine warning light is the most obvious symptom of a bad mass airflow sensor. If the engine control module receives a MAF error code, the check engine light will illuminate to alert you that the engine has a problem. So, users need to regularly pay attention to the signal on the taplo meter to detect soon and handle damage.

Trouble Accelerating

If you have trouble accelerating in highway traffic or while passing, this is another symptom of a soiled MAF sensor. The ECM can restrict these due to mass airflow sensor problems.

Rough Idling

Achieving a smooth rough idle is difficult without the proper amount of fuel. If the MAF sensor has a problem at this time, the unstable amount of air supplied to the engine compartment makes the mixture burn inside the cylinders in shortage or excess. That will cause the body engine to not run smoothly, especially when idling.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

A bad mass airflow sensor is also evident in abnormal fuel consumption and poor fuel efficiency. Damage to the sensor will cause the measurement data to be erroneous. A faulty ECM can lead to more fuel added to the combustion chamber than normal, causing fuel loss.  

Dark Exhaust Smoke

One sign that the MAF of your vehicle is going bad is black exhaust from excess fuel. As mentioned above, the excess fuel can also wind up in the combustion chamber and not fully burn, which is why the exhaust produces black smoke.

Hesitation Or Surging

Another bad mass airflow sensor symptom is an air and fuel imbalance. That can cause hesitation or surging when you depress the accelerator while driving. The reason for this hesitation and surging is too much air in the combustion chamber.

Hard Starting

Hard starting is a final symptom of a bad mass airflow sensor. A motor uses more fuel when it is started than when it is idle. The ECM might not deliver enough fuel injection for a quick engine start if the MAF is dirty or malfunctioning. You can easily see when your car briefly starts before dying.

Above are the seven most symptoms of a failed mass flow sensor, but other problems can also cause these. Thus, you should routinely check your intake system to ensure that other problems aren’t contributing to your symptoms.

How To Fix A Mass Airflow Sensor? 

If your intake system does not have any issues and you still face symptoms. You can try the offers after to repair the mass air flow sensor:

Shake out the dust: To keep dust from clogging the system, replace the air filter after blowing out the intake tubing.

Use a cleaning: Choose a cleaning item exclusively for the MAF sensor, as this may reduce the symptoms of the corruption issues in the system.

How To Fix A Mass Airflow Sensor?

Reset it: Try reset the mass airflow sensor before considering replacing it.

Replace it: If neither of these steps works, it’s time to get a new one.


All of the symptoms of a bad mass airflow sensor are listed above. As a result, the intake airflow sensor can play an important role in controlling the amount of air brought into the engine. It will be difficult to avoid operational issues if this part is damaged.

As a result, to have a great driving experience, you should inspect the MAF sensor regularly to avoid damage. We hope that the above seven symptoms and the solutions will make it easier for you to detect and check for errors!

Kevin Williams is an automotive enthusiast and expert writer with a passion for all things related to cars. With a wealth of knowledge in the world of vehicles, Kevin's mission is to provide informative articles that empower car enthusiasts to make informed decisions about their automotive interests. With extensive experience, Kevin has contributed numerous articles to Cars Cache, covering a wide spectrum of topics from vehicle reviews to maintenance tips and more.


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