Can a bad mass air flow sensor cause transmission problems? Yes, a bad mass air flow sensor can cause transmission problems such as an early shift, soft shift, late or harsh shift, or no shift at all.
The mass airflow sensor is a vital part of the fuel injection system in a vehicle; it helps to calculate and regulate the amount of air that enters the car engine.
An intake air temperature sensor is built into the mass airflow to calculate the amount of air intake. However, modern cars now use a hot-wire type to detect the amount of air intake
Can a Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor Cause Transmission Problems?
YES, as earlier said, the work and basic function of the mass airflow sensor is to detect and regulate the amount of air that flows into the engine.
Failure to calculate this accurately can lead to transmission problems such as late shifts, early shifts, or even in a worst-case scenario, no shifting at all
What are the Symptoms of a Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor?
1. Increase in the Air Fuel Ratio
This is one of the symptoms of a bad mass air flow (MAF) sensor which is sometimes referred to as a situation whereby the air fuel ratio is running rich. This means the ratio of air to fuel is tilted towards the fuel side. There is more fuel and less air.
2. Decrease in the Air Fuel Ratio
This simply means there is a significant increase in the ratio of air to fuel, that is, there is more air and less fuel. This is also referred to as the air fuel ratio of a mass airflow (MAF) running lean. This indicates a bad mass airflow sensor.
3. Check Engine Light
Another indication of a bad mass airflow (MAF) is when the check engine light is on. The check engine light could be an indication of anything wrong in the vehicle and not just a bad mass airflow sensor. That is why it is always advisable to visit your repairman whenever you see your check engine light on.
You might just save yourself a lot of physical emotional and financial stress by checking in with your repairman on time as soon as you see the check engine light
4. Black Exhaust Smoke
Black exhaust smoke is another indication that you have a bad mass airflow sensor and black exhaust smoke, in particular, is an attribute of an increase in the air fuel ratio that is when the air fuel ratio tilts towards the fuel side more, meaning there is more air than fuel and less air, this is when the air fuel ratio is running rich.
5. Starting Difficulty
Starting an engine requires more fuel than idling, but with a bad mass airflow sensor, the ECM is not likely to command enough fuel injection to effectively start the engine instantly leading to difficulty in starting the engine. Ensure your visit your auto mechanic for a good assessment of your car.
6. Jerking and Hesitation During Acceleration
This refers to sudden jerking during acceleration, when you drive your car and you notice some sudden abnormalities in power, make sure to see your auto mechanic for a proper checkup
A bad mass air flow sensor can cause transmission problems and it is not to be taken lightly. The prompt decision is to be taken to resolve the issue as soon as possible to save yourself the unnecessary risk and reduce the financial cost of the repair.
The longer it takes for you to repair, the higher its chances of affecting something else in the vehicle.
As stated above, when you notice any of the indicators of a bad air flow sensor such as;
- Increase in the air fuel ratio (air fuel ratio running rich)
- Decrease in the air fuel ratio (air fuel ratio running lean)
- Check engine light coming on
- Black exhaust smoke
- Starting difficulty
- Jerking and hesitation during acceleration
Visit your auto mechanic to have the issue resolved as soon as possible
Best Things to Do When Mass Air Flow Sensor Gets Bad
When your mass airflow sensor gets bad, it might be due to dirt so cleaning it should be the best thing to do. How do I do this?
- Shake out the dust properly
- Low out the intake tubing
- Use a cleaner specific to the mass airflow sensor to clean thoroughly
- When replacing the air-fuel sensor, make sure the air filter is installed properly to prevent dust intrusion.
Cleaning the airflow sensor is only a temporary fix. However, you are only permitted to clean the mass airflow sensor yourself if you know what to do. If you don’t know how to clean it, it’s better to take it to a mechanic for them to clean. It won’t cost you much.
However, if after cleaning, the problem persists you might just need to change your airflow sensor completely, the best thing to do is to get a new one. In this situation, replacing the mass air flow sensor is the best thing to do.
The price of a new mass airflow sensor might vary from one vehicle, model, and maker to another. If the cost is high and maybe unaffordable at the time being, your auto mechanic might suggest taking it out for the time being, to allow your car to work in a better condition.
Taking out your airflow sensor would mean giving power to your O2 sensor to decide the amount of air your car needs to operate at an optimal level.
If after doing all these, the problem persists, pay a visit to your auto mechanic and have the mass airflow sensor replaced completely.
Moreover, it is worth noting that removing your mass air flow sensor is not always advisable. It is just a temporary fix until you can afford and replace the mass airflow sensor completely
Is it Safe to Bypass MAF Sensor?
You can disconnect the mass airflow sensor but it is not advisable to do so. Disconnecting the MAF won’t prevent your car from running better.
It is not necessarily a bad thing as there is a probability that your car might run better when the mass airflow sensor is unplugged and might even give you the assurance you need to confirm that your mass airflow is not working optimally.
However, removing the mass airflow sensor is not a permanent fix, it is only for temporary use as you run at a risk of high fuel mileage and subsequently engine damage.
The mass airflow sensor is a vital part of a car; it calculates and regulates the amount of air needed in a car’s engine. When not in a good condition it can cause the air-fuel ratio to run rich or in other cases cause the air-fuel ratio to run lean.
There are other issues you can face when your mass airflow is not in its best condition such as emission of black exhaust smokes, the check engine light coming on, jerking and hesitation during acceleration, starting difficulty, and so on.
When you notice any of these, visit your auto mechanic for an assessment of your mass airflow sensor, your auto mechanic might suggest cleaning if the problem is due to the accumulation of dirt otherwise, you might have to change the air mass flow completely.
In cases whereby you have to remove your mass airflow, know that this is not a permanent fix as it may affect your car’s general usage of fuel and you run at a risk of engine damage. While you manage your car on the o2 sensor, make plans to fix your airflow sensor as soon as possible