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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car runs with the mass airflow sensor unplugged. If you plug it in it will die if the car is running.

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: Fuel pump will not kick on.

With fuel issues such as these, there are a few things to consider first. If the fuel pump and all of that has already been replaced, then it is likely the issue is not with the fuel pump itself. The...

Q: 4T65E just replaced 08 Lucerne 3.8L, replaced plugs/wires/1 coil pack melted at #4 so replaced it now rough idle

The coil pack melts down for a reason and cause will need to be diagnosed what caused it. The most common cause is a short in the signal wire or excessive resistance in the plug wires or plugs. I recommend...

Q: A Volkswagen Golf Mk4 starts but doesn't rev at all

Many things can cause that. Either the fuel filter is clogged or the fuel pump isn't pumping fuel and it won't rev. Of those things, often the MAF sensors go bad and gets covered with dirt or goes out and...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.