Q: My car is not starting when the MAF sensor is plugged in - 1991 Nissan Serena

asked by on October 21, 2016

It is not revving properties

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. In your case, when unplugging the mass air flow sensor, your car’s engine is bypassing the mass air flow sensor input into the ECU causing it not to have a reference point for air/fuel mixture. This may momentarily start the car, but it will not run correctly or rev up normally as you have experienced.

I would suggest having a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home to diagnose and replace the mass air flow 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

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

The engine revs up and lurches toward, while applying brakes

It is possible that your brake master cylinder is leaking brake fluid into your power brake booster. Your power brake booster is connected to engine vacuum so if a flammable liquid such as brake fluid were to enter the power...

Too many vibrations when i’m driving on the road

Since you've noticed there have been vibrations with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) since you got it serviced, were there any other services performed at that time such as new tire installation or wheel rotation/balancing? If the wheels were balanced,...

I replaced the fuel filter and pump, and checked the relay and fuse, but the car still won't start.

If you have just installed a new fuel pump and can not hear it come on when you turn the key to the run position (not the start position), you may have a ground issue. You can also perform a...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a General Contractor
If If you're a general contractor, you probably aren’t in the market for a used car. More likely, you’re looking for a pickup truck, because you need to haul equipment and supplies to various job sites. Most contractors will likely...
What Happens to Sensors if They are Dirty?
Car sensors can get dirty with normal use. Symptoms of dirty sensors include reduced engine power, worse gas mileage, or an engine that hesitates.
How Your ECU Uses Sensor Data
Today’s Today’s modern vehicles are made up of anywhere from one to seven computers that assist with the car’s day to day functions. An engine control unit (ECU), is a computer that similar to that of a laptop or smartphone...