The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor measures the volume, temperature and density of the air coming into your engine. With that information, the computer calculates how much oxygen is available to burn and adjusts the amount of fuel it sends. A dirty or damaged MAF sensor will provide inaccurate air flow readings, which can lead to drivability problems, damage your catalytic converter, set off the Check Engine light and may even prevent the engine from running.
Air and fuel are mixed together to be burned in your engine. You request how much of each you need by how hard you press on the accelerator; by going up or down a hill or by how much you are carrying in your vehicle as your drive around. Based on how much air you need – and how much is available – your engine management computer sends the needed amount of fuel to your engine. But what if the computer is getting the wrong information about how much air is coming into your engine? Well, it would send get the wrong amount of fuel and your engine wouldn’t perform the way you need it to.
The good news is that drivers can prevent most Mass Air Flow Sensor contamination. As air comes into your engine, it first passes through the engine air filter. Dust, road grime, pollen and other contaminants are captured in the filter. When the engine air filter becomes very dirty and clogged, some of the contaminants pass through the filter and hit the MAF sensor. That is how the sensor can become so dirty or damaged that it cannot accurately measure the air flow. So replacing your engine air filter as recommended will extend the life of your MAF sensor and help keep your engine running smoothly.
Now if your MAF sensor is contaminated, it may be possible to clean it with an air induction cleaning service. We can help with that at Douglas Automotive Repair. This service also cleans your throttle body and other fuel system components. In those circumstances where the MAF sensor has been damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Approximately 12,000 gallons of air pass through your engine air filter for every gallon of fuel you burn (45,000 liters of air for every 4 liters of fuel). That’s a lot of air to clean – and your air filter must be up to the job. Replacing this relatively inexpensive part will not only prevent dirt from getting into your engine, it will help keep your MAF sensor functioning properly. Our technician can easily inspect your engine air filter to see if it should be replaced. A caution: low-line air filters may actually contribute to MAF sensor failure as filter material can come loose and contaminate the sensitive sensor elements. A good quality engine air filter is your engine’s first line of defense.
When it’s recommended you replace your engine air filter, how much is riding on that simple but vital part?
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