Signs of a Bad Mass Airflow Sensor Or a Bad Oxygen Sensor

If you take care of your automobile, you may never need to have the mass airflow sensor replaced. Also called the MAF sensor, problems with the mass airflow sensor can make it difficult to drive your automobile. Righter’s Auto Repair advises that the signs of a bad mass airflow sensor can mimic those of a bad oxygen sensor, which is why it’s important for us to do a diagnostic check to get the error code. This code points directly to the malfunctioning sensor. Let’s talk more about this below.

The Difference Between the Two Sensors

The MAF sensor is located in your engine behind the air filter. This location gives it a chance to measure how much air is flowing into the engine. This is the MAF sensor’s job. It sends this data to the engine control unit (also called the ECU) so that it knows how much air and fuel to put into the combustion chamber. When the mass airflow sensor gets dirty or malfunctions, it may send incorrect data.

The oxygen sensor is located in your tailpipe at the beginning of it. This sensor is responsible for measuring how much oxygen your vehicle is releasing in its exhaust. It, too, communicates with the ECU by sending it this data. If the oxygen sensor malfunctions, it will send the ECU a code to report an error.

Signs of a Bad MAF Sensor

We talked about the signs of a bad oxygen sensor in a previous blog post, so now, let’s talk about the signs of a bad mass airflow sensor. They include

  • Acceleration troubles from a dead stop, when you try to pick up speed, and when you are hauling a load
  • Check engine warning that turns on and refuses to turn off until you get the MAF sensor replaced
  • Excess black exhaust flowing out of the tailpipe that indicates that your engine is burning too much fuel
  • Hard starting and stalling after you get your vehicle started because the engine is fuel-starved
  • Hesitation/surging while you are driving along or when your engine is under stress
  • Poor gas mileage that is noticeably lower than what you normally get out of a full tank
  • Rough idling that is the result of either a lean or rich fuel mixture

Any one of these things can point to problems with the mass airflow sensor. If the sensor is dirty, it can be cleaned. If the sensor is malfunctioning, however, it will need to be replaced.

Don’t worry. Righter’s Auto Repair in Grand Ledge and Lansing, MI, can help. Call the location closest to you for an appointment.

Photo by Mariia Demchenko from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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