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P0102 OBD-II Trouble Code: Mass Airflow (MAF) Circuit Low Voltage Input

check engine light

P0102 Trouble code definition

Mass Airflow (MAF) Circuit Low Voltage Input

  • The code P0102 code is often associated with P0100, P0101, P0103 or P0104 trouble codes as they are closely related.

What the P0102 code means

P0102 is the general code for a problem with the Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor having a low voltage output to the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

What causes the P0102 code?

The MAF Sensor has low voltage output problems which may have several causes.

  • The source of the problem is the sensor range voltage is lower than normal or required by the ECU to function properly.

  • The most obvious problem is restricted airflow from the air cleaner to the MAF sensor which can be a clogged air filter.

  • The wiring or MAF sensor may be too close to higher voltage consumption components, especially alternators, ignition wires, etc. which can give false readings.

  • The MAF sensor can also be dirty or partially plugged with carbon causing a low reading. Many MAF units have screens and they can get clogged up easily, clean using a CRC 05110 spray cleaner.

  • MAF sensors must operate within specific ranges to send correct signals for the ECU to adjust correctly for proper engine operation and inputs from other sensors..

What are the symptoms of the P0102 code?

  • P0102 code will be normally preceded by the Check Engine Light coming on the dashboard display.

  • The engine can run near normal but it may run slightly erratically, have less power and idle inconsistently.

  • The vehicle may have too low of fuel consumption, which could cause internal engine problems.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0102 code?

  • P0102 is diagnosed with an OBD- II scan tool. A qualified technician should then reset the OBD- II fault codes and road test the vehicle to see if the code returns. He can observe this by watching it live on his scanner while driving.

  • If the code does comes back, the mechanic will need to do a thorough visual inspection to determine any electrical connector, wiring, sensor, air cleaner, is plugged or damaged MAF unit.

  • If no problems are noted, then the next step is to have the mechanic do a circuit test with a multimeter that has a digital display to show sampling rate and sensor range readings to determine if the MAF sensor output is really too low or there is another cause.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0102 code

  • Diagnostic errors are largely due to not following the correct procedure. First, follow the test procedure for the wiring and sensor.

  • Do not buy a MAF sensor unless the other tests indicate no problem. Before buying a MAF sensor, try cleaning it with a specialized spray cleaner, like CRC 05110 made for MAF sensors, as these often get considerable carbon build up from the emission system, especially at idle.

  • The air filter may be very dirty causing the sensor to show low air flow voltage due to air flow restriction.

How serious is the P0102 code?

  • The P0102 code will generally not prevent the car from driving. The MAF sensor issue can cause both limited and excessive fuel consumption, rough operation and difficulty starting in certain circumstances, so it is best to have a mechanic inspect it at your first opportunity.

  • Occasionally, if no problems are found, reset the fault codes and then retest to see if the warning light and code return.

  • Often times, if the engine warning light came on immediately at start up, the OBD- II system can be reset and the vehicle will operate normally.

What repairs can fix the P0102 code?

The most common repairs to address the P0102 code are as follows:

  • Verify the code with a scanner. Reset the fault codes and perform a road test with normal driving.

  • If the P0102 code comes back, then it is important to follow the test procedure.

  • Inspect the electrical connector to the MAF to insure it is attached correctly. Disconnect it and then reinstall to insure fresh electrical connection to remove any corrosion on the contacts.

  • Thoroughly inspect for wiring being frayed, damaged, or broken on the connector. Repair or replace as necessary.

  • Check for vacuum leaks on the intake manifold hose and fittings, especially on older cars.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0102 code

Many vehicles with mileage over 100,000 have momentary sensor problems that usually occur during start up or prolonged stress situations on the drive train.

If the engine warning light comes on and the vehicle seems to be operating normally, the OBD-II system can be reset using the scanner and the problem may not reoccur. This is why it is important to verify the fault and reset it before doing any repairs.

Need help with a P0102 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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