Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Does the Mass Airflow Sensor Do?

mass airflow sensor

One of the sensors that you rely on to ensure your car is working correctly is the mass air flow (MAF) sensor. This little component plays a big role in whether your vehicle performs the way it should.

The mass air flow sensor is located on the throttle body of fuel injected engines. They are seen on multiport fuel injectors, and come in two different designs. Both designs do the same job, but with a unique method. Those two designs are the hot wire and hot film. Hot wire sensors feature a platinum wire as the sensing element, while hot film uses a nickel foil grid to do the job.

How mass air flow sensors work

The sensing element, whether it’s a hot wire or hot film, stays hotter than air that comes into the fuel injector by being electrically heated. The hot film MAF is set at 75°C hotter than incoming air, while the hot wire is at 100°C above. The air cools the element as it moves past. More current is needed to heat the element, which varies by the amount of air coming in.

The sensor measures the amount of air that comes in and relays that information to the computer. This allows the air/fuel mixture to maintain the correct ratio for optimal performance.

This sensor has an important role in fuel injection systems and may need to be cleaned to keep it in optimal working order. The next time you notice how smoothly your car runs, remember that the MAF sensor is one part that provides this condition.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Electrical

The engine will need to be scanned first to get the codes in memory of the computer. The car may have a camshaft sensor on the synchronizer that is going bad and casing a stall or no start. The fuel...

Q: Getting P0107 on OBD-II, mostly when car is in reverse gear and the Check Engine Light switches on.

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. Check the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor for any corrosion or burned pins. This is what the P0107 code is coming up for. Check for power to the sensor. Back probe the wires and...

Q: What does the check fuel cap alert mean?

When the check fuel cap alert shows up on the information display, it means that the fuel cap has not been properly tightened. When the cap is secured correctly, the alert will disappear.