Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car runs with the mass airflow sensor unplugged. If you plug it in it will die if the car is running.

asked by on

If you unplug the mass air flow sensor the car will start. If you try to plug it in while it's running the car will die.

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This is a sure sign of a shorted mass airfl...

This is a sure sign of a shorted mass airflow sensor. The reason it starts with it off is the computer sees no mass air signal and replaces it with an internal memory fake signal to use. This will let it start and will run well enough to get to a service repair place. Leave it disconnected for too long without getting it fixed can start to foul spark plugs and will have other different driving issues. If you need some assistance with this, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home and replace your mass airflow sensor.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Charging system battery keeps getting drained

Hello, You may have a failing voltage regulator that could be allowing the alternator to supply too much or too little amperage to the battery resulting in the battery never maintaining a consistent charge as it is designed to. The...

Q: Noise when i turn heater on for while to defrost or vents. 2003 Chevy Impala

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The noise you may be hearing is the blend door actuator clicking until the door gets into the position it needs to be in. When these actuators go bad...

Q: Mass airflow sensor

The mass air sensor is used by the engine computer to measure the barometric pressure, air flow and temperature of the air going into the engine. If the computer is not getting any of these signals, you may still be...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...