Mass Airflow Sensor: What It Is & Signs of Failure

Posted On: Friday, November 5, 2021

Dealing with a damaged or malfunctioning mass airflow sensor can be disheartening.

It’s important to get to the bottom of things as soon as possible. with the help of Absolute Car Care, you can get the sensor working the way it is supposed to in no time.

Before doing this, it’s essential to understand what this part does and what the potential issues might be.

What is the Mass Airflow Sensor?

The mass airflow sensor is located near the air filter and is a core part of the fuel injection system. It is designed to solely assess the amount of air flowing into the engine intake. This makes sure the fuel-to-air ratio is perfect for the vehicle to function correctly.

Signs of Failure With A Mass Airflow Sensor

1. Check Engine Light

The check engine light is the first sign of failure.

This will light up on the dashboard and indicate something is wrong with the sensor. The issue can include the sensor not working as it is supposed to or being completely damaged.

It is important to take the vehicle to a mechanic for further inspection in a situation such as this.

2. Black Exhaust Smoke

If there is black smoke coming from the exhaust, this means the air mass in the engine intake is now imbalanced and reaching dangerous levels.

When the sensor starts malfunctioning, it might not get the ratio right and that will cause the airflow to start misbehaving. When this occurs, you are likely going to see black smoke appearing.

3. Misfiring/Rough Running

When the wrong amount of airflow is going into the engine, it will lead to potential misfiring or rough running. This occurs because of the imbalance where the powertrain control module won’t know how much fuel is required to keep the engine running.

This can create an uneven combustion process that results in these issues.

4. Difficulty Starting/Turning the Engine Over

When it is difficult to start the vehicle, the air-to-fuel ratio is likely off.

This will cause the vehicle to stop starting until the sensor is fixed. It is best to go to a qualified auto repair shop when this takes place.

To learn more about how to manage a mass airflow sensor issue, it’s best to reach out to trusted experts at Absolute Car Care. This is a team that’s ready to help and is a phone call away at (508) 820-9323.