Can I drive with a bad Mass Airflow Sensor?

Published 05-02-2021 Maverik

Can I drive with a bad Mass Airflow Sensor?

Several small peripheral devices run your car. Mass airflow sensor is one of the various components available in your car's engine. It is a crucial element of the electronic fuel injection system of your card. The sensor is located between the air filter and the intake of your car's engine. The work of the airflow sensor is to measure the amount of air entering into the engine and control the airflow. There are types of airflow sensors and modern cars use a hot wire air flow sensor. The mass airflow sensor multiplies the air volume with the air density to calculate the mass of the air. This information helps the engine control unit to help to deliver the proportionate amount of fuel mass to the engine. To avail of the best functionality from your car, the airflow sensor should work accurately. A well-balanced airflow increases the longevity of your car's engine.

Types of Mass flow sensors

There are a few types of mass airflow sensors available in the market; some of which are mentioned below:

  • Hotwire sensor - Most modern-day vehicles use a hot wire mass airflow sensor. It consists of one temperature wire and one hot wire. This type of sensor uses a small electronic chip to converts the electric current to digital mode. The calculation is shifted to the engine's computer (PMC) to confirm the amount of fuel required to be injected. This is done to strike a balance between fuel ration and air.
  • Cold Wire sensor - These kinds of sensors make use of a thin metallic strip that starts vibrating when the air passes through them. To understand the volume of the airflow, the frequency of the vibrations is delivered to ECM.
  • Karmen Vortex sensor - The basic function of these sensors remains the same. However, they use a photocoupler and mirror to form a vortex. The vortex helps in the entire process.
  • Vane air flow sensor - The vane airflow sensors are mostly found on the engines that have airflow EFI systems. As the air enters the engine through the spring tab, the airflow sensor's potentiometer monitors the volume of the air instantly.

Symptoms of the bad mass airflow sensor

Following are the common signs that would indicate that your car has a bad or faulty mass airflow sensor:

  • Engine interrupts while accelerating - If your car has a faulty mass airflow sensor, it would lead to a poor driving experience. If you notice that your car jerks or stalls when you accelerate, then it means you should get the mass airflow sensor check by a professional.
  • High air-fuel ratio - If your car's fuel efficiency decreases or the tailpipe emits black smoke, it means you should get the mass airflow sensor checked. Such scenarios occur when your car's airflow season gets dirty or damaged and it requires immediate attention.
  • The engine takes hiccups - At some point in time, you might notice that it has become troublesome to switch the engine on and it encounters seizures. Most of the time, this signifies that the air-fuel ratio has become very lean. You should immediately call an expert and get the mass airflow sensor checked.

You can drive with a bad or faulty mass airflow sensor; however, that would only be for a short duration. A bad mass airflow sensor delivers false information to the engine's computer, and that may lead to the poor performance of the engine. If you do not want to distort the performance level of your car's engine and avoid unnecessary repair bills, then you should get the sensor replaced or repaired as per the requirement of the engine.

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