Q: Mass airflow sensor issue

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Car will only start with the mass air flow sensor unplugged. If you plug it in while the car is running the car will die.

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

This may be a sign of a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor is a unit in the intake system that monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. When this fails, this can cause an imbalanced air/fuel load to be supplied to the motor which often times results in the engine starving for air or fuel. This is what causes the hesitation or loss of power you describe. This can also cause the engine to struggle to idle for the same reason. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose the issue with your car starting and dying and replace the mass airflow sensor as necessary.

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