Last updated on February 6th, 2023 at 03:35 pm
A malfunctioning MAF sensor can show you so many signs, such as reduced engine performance, and increased fuel consumption, and can even lead to damage to the car components. So, can you drive with a bad MAF sensor? Well, this article will address that question as well as the consequences you may face driving with a faulty MAF sensor. So whether you are looking for how to reset mass air flow sensor or the symptoms of a bad mass air flow sensor and when is safe to drive with a bad MAF sensor; this post is for you.
You need to have all the information regarding the signs and symptoms of bad mass air flow sensor to avoid costly repair costs that might result from not fixing or resolving your car MAF sensor early problem from when it went bad.
MAF sensor | Can You drive with a bad mass air flow sensor + 8 symptoms of bad mass air flow sensor
Today’s article contain full guide for you on all you need to know about MAF sensor, it symptoms, fix/repair, replacement, the cost and direct response to common frequent issues you might have about a Bad mass air flow sensor symptom and finally how to reset mass air flow sensor
First, here is a checklist of all the things we will discuss in this post:
- The meaning of MAF sensor
- The types of MAF sensor
- The Dangers Of A Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor On Your Car – P0100 P0104 P0171 P0172 P0174
- Some respond to the question can you drive with a bad mass air flow sensor
- The 8 Bad mass air flow sensor symptoms mustang
- Why you might notice a bad mass air flow sensor no check engine light.
- And what would happen if you didn’t change a bad mass airflow sensor on your vehicle
Now let’s begin with the meaning of MAF sensor. Related post
Meaning of MAF sensor
Note that the acronyms “MAF” here stands for (Mass Air Flow) so whenever MAF sensor is mentioned, we simply mean Mass Air Flow sensor.
Indeed, the MAF sensor of a car is the component that measures the air mass which passes via the air tube of any vehicle.
However, with the aid of the PCM, the MAF sensor performs this calculation in a car by a simple multiplication of the air volume by the air density.
Be informed that this air mass information produced is required so that the vehicle engine control unit (ECU) can be balanced.
It is true that a balanced ECU helps in delivering the appropriate fuel mass to the engine, and this brings about optimal functionality to the vehicle.
Types of MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor
We have several types of MAF sensor found on vehicles. Which includes the cold wire, hot wire, the Vane also known as an air flow meter and the Karmen Vortex MAF sensors.
1. Cold Wire MAF Sensor
The cold wire MAF sensor on its own uses a thin metallic strips that vibrates as the air is passing through.
And this vibration usually changes in its rate or frequency as does the signal that is sent to the ECM (Engine Control Module).
2. Karmen Vortex MAF Sensors.
Here is another type of MAF sensor which is known as Karmen Vortex MAF sensors. It is a sensor that functions just like the rest but it additionally forms a vortex which is sensed by a mirror and a photo coupler.
And the signal from this sensor is converted to power to be sent and deduced by the power-train control module.
3. Vane MAF sensor
The Vane MAF sensor also called air flow meter, operates using a potentiometer to transfer a variable. Sometimes, it can use a changing Voltage signal to the PCM as a measure of the air volume.
4. Hot Wire MAF Sensor
Here is another type of MAF sensor which is known as hot wire MAF sensor and has a heated filament like a toaster. Note that it is the hot wire mass airflow sensor that regulates the mass air flowing into the car engine’s air intake system.
Normally, the hot wire mass air sensor resistance will increase or decreases as cold air passes via the filament, which creates an increased current to maintain the sensors heat which later is transformed to a current signal and then sent to the PCM (power-train control module) for the adjustment of the air fuel ratio.
Dangers Of A Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor On Your Car – P0100 P0104 P0171 P0172 P0174
Cleaning MAF sensor
Sometimes this filament of your car MAF sensor can get dirty making it go bad, so it’s very vital that a regular cleaning schedule should be maintained to keep the MAF (mass air flow) Sensor performing at it optimal state.
By using a CRC mass air flow sensor cleaner, it means you will have to remove the sensor and open the CRC spray head and then Spray the filament till it is dirt free and clean, you can then re-install or couple back the MAF sensor.
My Recommended CRC mass air flow sensor cleaner
We have many recommended product for the cleaning of MAF sensor. But the one I prefer is shown below and it could be found on Amazon.
Common Symptoms of a Dirty MAF Sensor
Here are some common symptoms of a dirty MAF sensor comprises of:
- Power loss
- Poor gas Mileage
- Hesitation and stumble.
Please note that this is what happens when your car MAF sensor becomes dirty. The car MAF sensor will signal the PCM (power-train control module) for any shortage of air flow causing an extreme positive Long Term Fuel Trim.
Then the PCM will thinks that the air fuel ratio is too thin and will keep adding fuel to compensate and make up for the imaginary shortfall.
In case you have ever wondered if check engine light is one of the symptoms of bad MAF sensor, Yes is the answer to this query and we will look at some symptoms of bad mass air flow sensor below.
8 Symptoms of Bad Mass air Flow Sensor
Here are the common Symptoms of bad mass air flow sensor which includes but are not limited to these:
- The display of Check Engine Light
- A decreased fuel economy
- Difficulty starting Car Engine
- Stalling shortly after starting
- Rough Engine idling
- Jerking motion during acceleration
- Gas smell from exhaust pipe
- Engine hesitation under load
However, if your car check engine light comes on while your vehicle has any of the symptoms above, then you need to check the MAF sensor.
Solving this is very easy, just use an OBD-II code reader and you can get for cheap on amazon if you don’t already have.
Note that the Code P0101 is a simple indication that the signal from the MAF sensor is beyond the normal range, which means that you need to replace or get a new MAF sensor.
Also, before you get a new MAF sensor, we advise you first try clean your MAF sensor to ensure that the problem is not coming from a dirty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor.
Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor no Check Engine Light
In case you have noticed from the above symptoms of bad mass air flow sensor, the check engine light is the number 1 symptoms and that is because it is the foremost indication of bad MAF sensor.
But in some cases, you might still be having bad mass air flow sensor, yet no check engine light will.
However, in case you see any more than one of the above symptoms on your car, then check you MAF sensor too.
These are all indication of a bad mass air flow sensor.
Can You Drive with a Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor?
The answer is yes, you can drive with a bad mass air flow sensor for a while, however, we do not advise you to continue using it for a long time on this part even if your car can still run.
Reasons is that the average cost of a new engine is around $7500 while replacing or repairing your MAF sensor issues will cost you nothing more than $200.
Ensure you work it out.
how to reset mass air flow sensor
The process of resetting a mass airflow (MAF) sensor differs depending on your car’s make or model. However, here are the general steps that you can follow to reset your car’s faulty or bad MAF. These and broken down into 2:
Step 1: Clean or Replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor
- Give your engine a break: Turn off the engine and let it cool down if you’ve been driving.
- Unplug and unhook: Remove the sensor’s plug and wire harness.
- Give it a good clean: Take apart the air flow sensor and clean it thoroughly.
- Upgrade time: If necessary, replace the old MAF sensor with a brand new one.
- Start it up: Turn the engine on and let it run for 5-6 seconds, then turn it off.
Step 2: Reset the Mass Air Flow Sensor
- Start by disconnecting the negative battery cable for a few minutes to clear the vehicle’s computer error code memory.
- Now, you have to reconnect the negative cable and start the engine, allowing the computer to relearn the MAF sensor values.
- And lastly, you have to drive your vehicle for about 15 minutes at different speed levels and loads to allow the computer to adjust to the new MAF sensor fully.
Note: If you see the message DTC P0102 on the dashboard, simply clean the memory and start the car again. And that’s it! Your new MAF sensor is all set up and ready to go.
It’s important to note that some vehicles may not require a MAF sensor reset, and the process can also vary based on the vehicle’s year, make, and model.
I recommend you check your car vehicle’s owner’s manual or, better still, go meet the mechanic who works specifically on your car.
What would happen if you didn’t change a bad mass airflow sensor on your vehicle?
Whenever your car MAF sensor is bad, it will make your car engine computer to miscalculate the right amount of fuel to be injected which will lead the computer to leave a problem code and then the check engine light will come on.
Sometimes your car might still be running with this problem code, but it will not allow the engine to perform well because the car computer will be doing a guess work.
Also, because the data that your car computer is been working with is not exactly accurate, it could lead off to more serious problem on the engine.
Conclusion on MAF sensor with 8 Bad mass air flow sensor symptoms
We hope that we have been able to give you some satisfactory answer to the query “Can you drive with a bad mass air flow sensor”
Note that the key to ensuring that your car engine does not severely get damaged is to look out for Bad mass air flow sensor symptoms which is abbreviated as MAF sensor.
Also, we have discussed the meaning of MAF sensor, the types of MAF sensor and also the reason why you might be having a bad mass air flow sensor no check engine light.
In this post, we also discussed what would happen if you didn’t change a bad mass airflow sensor on your vehicle. And the dangers of a bad mass air flow sensor on your car.
- Driving with Mass Airflow Sensor Unplugged
- How to Calibrate MAF Sensor (What is The Mass Air Flow Sensor )
Hi dear, I am Dennis Gift, an autobody repair technician with over 4 years of experience; and I love everything about fitness and cars and researching and sharing my experience. And this is where I get to do that freely without reservations. So come along with me.