A Dirty Mass Airflow Sensor Can Make Your Engine Surge or Hesitate

If your engine has been surging or hesitating lately, it’s possible that the mass airflow (MAF) sensor is too dirty. Del Hatt Automotive advises that it is rare that the sensor goes bad and needs to be replaced. This does not mean, however, that a dirty sensor cannot wreak havoc in your engine. It can. It cannot only cause your engine to pick up speed erratically, but it can also cause acceleration and engine hesitation. Here are other signs that your mass airflow sensor is dirty.

Black Engine Exhaust

For example, if your engine is surging, this is a sign that you have excess fuel in the cylinders. Unfortunately, this added fuel can also create black exhaust. You will see this exhaust flow out of your tailpipe until you get the mass airflow sensor cleaned.

Hard or No Starting

A dirty mass airflow sensor can also make it difficult to start your automobile. The MAF sensor keeps track of the amount of air that flows into the engine. If it is sending incorrect readings, the engine control module will make harmful adjustments to the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. This can make starting your car, truck, or C/SUV difficult.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

You may also notice a reduction in your automobile’s fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, the unnecessary adjustments to the delicate balance of the air and fuel reduce your engine’s efficiency. Consequently, because the engine is not running efficiently, it will burn through more diesel fuel or gasoline. You will notice a difference in your fuel economy as a result.

Rough Engine Idle

Your engine’s idle will also get rough if it is struggling to run. The reason why it is struggling to run could be because there is too much air or too much fuel in the combustion chamber. Either condition can make it difficult for your engine to maintain an idle without stalling. Again, a dirty MAF sensor can cause this imbalance in the combustion chamber indirectly.

Dashboard Warning

Finally, all of the issues listed above might be accompanied by a dashboard warning. Specifically, the engine control module will turn on the check engine light because the system sensors in the combustion chamber have reported errors. Cleaning the mass airflow sensor can restore its operation and should turn off the check engine light if that is the problem.

Del Hatt Automotive in Poughkeepsie, NY, is here to help, so schedule an appointment with us today. We can inspect your MAF sensor and clean it if necessary.

photo by Mariia Demchenko from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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