A faulty mass airflow meter can cause myriad problems, such as rough acceleration and idling, stalling and hesitation. It may be difficult to diagnose since the failure of a number of parts may mirror these symptoms. The same symptoms can be caused by any number of different parts: bad wires, spark plugs, fuel filter, distributor, pumps and injectors or timing.

The mass airflow sensor, or mass airflow meter, measures the amount (mass) of air that is entering the engine and then conveys this information to the ECU, or engine control unit. This ready flow of information allows the ECU to mix the proper amount of fuel with the airflow in order to create efficient combustion. Faulty mass airflow sensors send inaccurate readings to the engine control unit, causing it to mix the incorrect amount of air to fuel, throwing off the entire ratio. To get a better understanding of a mass airflow sensor, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Faulty mass airflow sensors will only get worse over time. Generally a one-time glitch will spell the end for this particular part.

  • The Check Engine Light may illuminate when the mass airflow sensor begins to go bad.

  • Running lean or rich on your air-to-fuel mixture can be a good indicator that it’s time to replace the mass airflow sensor.

When you are ready to purchase a new mass airflow sensor, consider the following:

  • Be sure your mass airflow (MAF) sensor is compatible with your particular vehicle

  • There are several different types of mass airflow sensors, including a street version. Since this controls how your fuel mix works, be sure you’re getting the correct version for your driving pattern needs.

  • For this particular component, OEM parts are best; certainly don’t choose a remanufactured part that doesn’t include a warranty.

  • Substandard components can compromise your vehicle’s performance, resulting in rough idling, stalling and overall poor engine performance.

Don’t be taken in by an inexpensive mass airflow sensor. Be sure you’re getting a component that is going to last and provide you years of carefree ownership of your vehicle.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality mass airflow sensors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a mass airflow sensor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on mass airflow sensor replacement.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Mass Airflow Sensor and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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