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Can a Dirty Mass Airflow Sensor Reduce My Gas Mileage?

Yes, a dirty mass airflow (MAF) sensor can reduce your gas mileage because it can indirectly cause serious problems with your engine’s performance. MD Auto Repair can clean the MAF sensor and test it to make sure it isn’t malfunctioning. If the sensor has gone bad, we will replace it. Aside from the poor fuel efficiency, here are other signs that your MAF sensor is dirty or bad.

Performance Problems

The engine performance problems that are reducing the gas mileage include sputtering or surging. The mass airflow sensor can indirectly create this problem by sending skewed data to the engine control unit (ECU) about the volume of air that is flowing into the engine. If the ECU takes the data seriously, it may add air or fuel, respectively, when the combustion chamber does not need it.

Rough Engine Idling

Unfortunately, this can also make your engine idle roughly if the ECU has added unnecessary air to the combustion chamber. In severe cases, you may end up with an engine that stalls frequently because the combustion chamber is constantly stuffed with extra air and starved of fuel.

Problems Accelerating

This condition will also make it difficult to get your vehicle to accelerate smoothly. Your acceleration will sputter and lag because the combustion chamber is being choked with air. When this happens, as we mentioned above, the chamber ends up in a fuel-starved condition.

Dark Exhaust Smoke

If the opposite occurs, the ECU will put too much fuel in the combustion chamber. This causes the engine surging we talked about above. It also causes dark exhaust smoke to flow out of the tailpipe depending on the amount of fuel being burned in the chamber.

Difficult or No Starts

As you can imagine, your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine needs the right amount of air and fuel in the combustion chamber to fire up smoothly. If it does not have the correct ratio, you will have problems starting your engine. In severe cases, the engine may refuse to start.

Check Engine Warning

Finally, all of these things are going to be accompanied by a dashboard warning light. In the case of the MAF sensor, the ECU will turn on the check engine light. This is your clue that something is off in the engine. You may not receive any other indication of trouble.

Call MD Auto Repair in Kansas City, MO, today to set up a service visit so we can inspect the MAF sensor and clean it or replace it.