Can You drive with a bad mass air flow sensor 1

How to Calibrate MAF Sensor (What is The Mass Air Flow Sensor )

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 08:23 pm

Have you ever wondered what is the mass air flow sensor? Or maybe you like to learn how to calibrate MAF sensor? This article we are going to talk about mass air flow sensor symptoms, mass air flow sensor repair cost, required procedure for testing mass air flow sensor.

Your car  mass airflow sensor is responsible for finding out the mass of air that enters fuel injection engine of every vehicle.

Once it realizes the air mass, it sends the information to the ECU (Engine Control Unit).

The reason why this information is needed is for the Engine control unit to be able to send and deliver the right amount of fuel to the car’s engine.

What is The Mass Air Flow Sensor (How to Calibrate MAF Sensor)

One of the most harmful defects a car could ever develop is a faulty mass airflow sensor. It can lead to so many problems which might finally result in engine failure.

If the engine does not fail, then its performance will definitely be affected.

The mass sensor or MAF (Mass airflow) sensor is one of the most important components that determine the performance of a car.

It is usually located right in the middle of the engine intake manifold and air filter. It is useful for measuring the correct amount of air that needs to enter the car engine.

In recent cars, the IAT (intake air temperature) sensor is usually in the mass airflow sensor.

Although there are different types of airflow sensors, modern cars are usually built with the hot wire air flow sensor.

Here is the highlight of this post:

  • What is the mass air flow sensor
  • Mass air flow sensor symptoms
  • Testing mass air flow sensor
  • How to calibrate maf sensor
  • Mass air flow sensor repair cost

With these in mind lets begin with meaning of the mass airflow sensor is. Read article also What Expect When Driving with Mass Airflow Sensor Unplugged

What is the mass airflow sensor?

As written above, the mass sensor is one of the most important components of a car. It is useful in measuring the mass of air that needs to enter the fuel injection engine.

It is usually between the intake manifold of the engine and the air filter. A damaged or faulty air flow sensor can damage the car’s engine and make it perform poorly.

The common types of mass airflow sensors are the hot frequency, low frequency, and DC voltage.

Mass airflow sensor symptoms (mass air flow sensor problems)

The mass airflow sensor is a very important part of a vehicle’s engine. As a car owner, the condition of your car should be very important to you. An mass air flow sensor problems can show varying signs or symptoms.

A damaged or faulty mass air flow sensor can cause problems that a low compression will.

The symptoms that a fault MAF sensor will show are almost the same as the ones you notice if your car has low fuel pressure.

The most common one is that the car’s engine will be so difficult to start or turn over. If you are experiencing any difficulty with starting the engine of your car, then there might be a problem with the MAF sensor.

Another thing is that your engine might start but just after it does not, it starts stalling. If you notice this symptom, then you should not overlook it.

Furthermore, when you are accelerating and you notice that the car is hesitating or suddenly starts jerking, the mass airflow sensor might be having some problems.

Another sign is if your vehicles engine starts hiccupping continuously. A faulty MAF sensor can cause the engine to drag while it is idle or under load.

It can also lead to a lean idling. These are some of the symptoms you need to look out for. If you believe the MAF sensor is faulty, your vehicle needs to be taken it to the mechanic immediately.

The mechanic will run it for a complete diagnosis and tell you if your fears are real.

Some other symptoms you need to look for are poor fuel economy, hard or no starting, low engine power, erratic performance, and engine running in fail-safe mode.

Testing the mass airflow sensor

There are different ways you can test your MAF sensors. As you are performing the tests, you will have to use a voltmeter or multimeter to keep checking for the voltage signal.

The tool you use depends on the type of sensor your vehicle is using. For a high-frequency type, you can use the voltmeter while you can use a digital multimeter for a low-frequency type.

If you are confused, you can always visit the manual of your car.

How to test the voltage signal of your MAF sensor

To test the mass sensor, first thing you need to do is to put off the ignition switch and then plug the MAF electrical connector.

Then black probe the ground wire which is usually with the negative sign with a meters black lead and also the sensor signor wire, the one with the positive sign with the meters red lead.

The two leads should be far apart from the engine compartments.

If you are using an automatic car, you need to set it to Park while you should set it to neutral with a manual vehicle. Now, start the engine and let the idling begin.

With this, you should have about 0.5 to 0.7 volts meter but it might higher on some vehicle model. Using a wrench, tap the MAF sensor softly.

With this action, the voltage output should be stable. However, if you notice it is fluctuating or the engine misfires, then you might have loose electrical connections which are due for replacement.

Now you can increase the speed of the engine starting from 2500 rpm to 3500 rpm. With this, the signal of the sensor should increase to about 1.5 to 3.0 volts.

 If the MAF sensor does not provide any output, then it needs to be replaced. However, if it does but it is very low, then it might be contaminated. A relay or circuit might be dirty and needs cleaning.

How to test the MAF sensor hot wire

The problem with your MAF sensor might be that the hotwire is broken or damaged. If you want to check how true that is, the first thing you need to do is put off the ignition switch.

Once you do this, remove the plug of the MAF sensors connector. Then change your DMM to Ohms scale.

Now, connect the meter lead to the ground and signal pins that are on the connector. If you cannot recognize them, check your manual. Now, if the hot wire is faulty, the meter will resist.

How to test the MAF sensor’s power feed

Open the hood of the vehicle and remove the MAF sensor connector’s plug. Change the DMM to the auto range or 20 volts. Proceed by connecting the meters red lead to the B+ terminal.

If you are having any difficulty identifying the various wires, you should check your manual.

There is a ground pin on the connector; you can now connect the meters metal black lead. Now, you can turn on the ignition switch but do not ignite the car’s engine.

You should be getting more than 10 voltages at the moment. If you do not get more than 10 or a value extremely close the circuit power side is faulty.

How to calibrate MAF sensor

It is important that your MAF sensor is correctly calibrated. Before you start to calibrate MAF, you need to check if it is in its right condition.

Check for vacuum, air intake and boost leaks. Once you are sure there are no leaks, the next step is to clean the MAF sensor.

The sensor can become contaminated dirty, or oily. Once it is clean and you are sure all dirt has been removed, reinstall the sensor and connect the electrical connector. Now, clear out the fuel trims.

Because you have to relearn the fuel trim, you need to start driving the car through idle to acceleration.

Now, you can log in to the fuel trims. Once you do this, begin to analyze the logs. Try everything possible to record every data.

Mass airflow sensor repair cost

The price of getting a new mass air flow sensor should be about $100. You can choose to either buy from the manufacturer or on the market.

All you need to do is do your research and be certain the one you are buying is of low quality. To replace or repair a Mass airflow sensor is quite easy and should not take much time.

Some of the factors that affect the price of repair depend on the model of your vehicle and your location.

If you have no prior experience repairing a MAF sensor, then it is advisable you take it into your mechanic.

Conclusion on Mass Sensor Problem

I hope this article on what is the mass air flow sensor and how to calibrate maf sensor was helpful to you?

In this post, we have been able to explain what a mass airflow sensor is, its importance and some of the symptoms you need to look out for, that indicates an mass air flow sensor problems or a faulty maf.

If you feel your MAF sensor is faulty, you have to take it to your mechanic to have it fix as soon as possible.

Even the mass air flow sensor repair cost is not out place. It is affordable and will save you from more expensive problem that result due to a prolong neglect of the issue.

Related articles: MAF sensor| Can You drive with a bad mass air flow sensor

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