For every vehicle there is an Electronic Fuel Injection System, in this system is where we have the Mass Air Flow sensor also called the MAF sensor. This sensor helps to measure and control the flow of air inside the engine.
Just like every other part of the engine, the mass airflow sensor can go bad. A good mass airflow will show higher airflow reading than a bad one. If it shows a lower airflow reading, then it is time to replace it.
However, after replacing the MAF, what else should you do?
After replacing your mass airflow sensor, you should:
- Detach the battery for some minutes and then reconnect afterward for the engine to readjust itself to the new MAF sensor
- You should run the engine at idle for some minutes
- Depending on your kind of car, you can also reprogram the Engine Control Module.
What is the Mass Air Flow Sensor For?
The mass airflow sensor is used to measure the inflow of air into the engine. This sensor helps to calculate the injection of air that is been mixed with the fuel in the transmission.
Can You Replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor?
Yes, you can replace the mass airflow sensor. Some vehicle owners can replace the MAF Sensor themselves if they have the material needed and the knowledge to do so while others may require the service of an expert.
The materials needed for replacement are a pair of gloves, a wrench, a screwdriver, and the new mass air flow sensor.
When Should You Replace Mass Air Flow Sensor?
Unlike other parts of the engine, the mass airflow sensor may not need to be replaced throughout the lifetime of a car. However, over time there may be a build-up of carbon that prevents air from passing through the sensor and another factor that causes it to fail.
Oftentimes the MAF Sensor may just need to be cleaned out because of too much carbon which can be done easily, on the other hand, if the problem is electrical or mechanical you will need to replace the sensor.
A mass airflow sensor should be replaced when it starts showing signs that it is bad, some of the signs shown could be the car now uses too much fuel because of incorrect readings by the sensor, the engine not operating at full capacity, the check engine light will be on in the dashboard.
If getting a replacement is the best option, you should have it replaced without further delay.
What to Do After Replacing Mass Air Flow Sensor?
After the mass airflow sensor has been replaced it is advisable to run some basic operations in order for the car to get accustomed to the new sensor.
For the engine to adjust to the new settings and do away with the old, you should detach the battery for some minutes and then reconnect afterward. By doing this, the engine knows to readjust itself to the new sensor.
Another option to accustom the engine to the new sensor will be to let it run idle and take it for a few minutes to spin.
Also, depending on the kind of car you use, you may have to reprogram the Engine Control Module.
It is not uncommon to see that the engine doesn’t run as it should even after replacing the sensor, this is because the engine is finding it hard to adjust and read the new command. Doing any of the aforementioned will work in helping the engine adjust well to the new sensor.
Do I Need to Disconnect Battery When Changing MAF Sensor?
Yes, it is advisable to disconnect the battery when changing the MAF sensor. For some people, this isn’t necessary since changing the MAF Sensor is an easy process.
The MAF Sensor is an electrical-mechanical device, therefore, you need to disconnect the battery before doing anything related to it. By doing this, you protect the sensor and other electrical devices in the engine from accidents that can be caused by the battery.
Although it is recommended to disconnect the battery after replacement, it is much better to do so before the change happens, for safety reasons.
Is it Better to Clean or Replace a Mass Air Flow Sensor?
The mass airflow sensor can usually last as long as a vehicle all things being equal, so oftentimes all you will have to do is clean the airflow sensor. Cleaning should be done almost every time you change the oil and other fluid in the car.
You will know if all that the sensor needs to function perfectly is cleaning, it shows sign different from when damaged due to mechanical or electrical failure happens. Usually, an airflow sensor will need replacing if the damage is electrical or mechanical.
Cleaning should be done gently in order not to break any part of the sensor. Basically, you will know whether to clean or replace the mass airflow sensor when you troubleshoot.
Benefits of Replacing the Mass Air Flow Sensor
So many benefits are accrued when you replace the mass airflow sensor, some benefits are stated below;
- Fuel Economy: When the airflow sensor is bad the air-fuel ratio is no longer accurate, therefore the engine can’t really measure the right fuel needed which leads to more fuel being used. Replacing the sensor helps you in using the right volume of fuel and nothing extra
- Engine Damage is Prevented: A bad air flow sensor will affect the engine by reducing its performance which eventually leads to its damage.
- You get to Save Cost: The cost that could be incurred from getting more fuel because of large fuel consumption and that of repairing a damaged engine is saved when you replace the sensor and without delay.
Without the mass air flow sensor in place to measure the flow of air, so many things will go wrong with the vehicle. It is also important to replace immediately you realize the sensor is damaged in order to avoid further damage to the engine.
The cost of replacing the sensor will depend on your car model, so it is better to take preventive measures by cleaning regularly. The air filter should also be changed when necessary.
One way to keep the mass air flow sensor functioning for much longer is through maintenance, cleaning out the air filter as often as possible.