Q: Will a bad air sensor damage your car if it is not fixed immediately, how long do you have to fix it?

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The car is jerking on take off and the engine light is on.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the check engine light is constant (NOT flashing) you might have days to weeks, depending on how much the air fuel ratio departs from the stoichiometric ideal. Too little fuel and the engine runs too hot. Too much fuel and the catalytic converter is damaged. If the check engine light is flashing, or has flashed during the course of this incident, you have zero time as if the repair is not made promptly, the catalytic converter will be damaged. The "jerking" is not a good sign. Jerking will often arise as a result of misfiring and it is the misfiring that damages the converter. In the event that you need only a simply straightforward repair, you should just go ahead and request a check engine light diagnostic. Perhaps the mass air flow sensor just needs cleaning or there is a detached wire to the sensor. Also, the sensor needs to be tested directly before it is condemned (trouble codes are NOT a diagnostic and the code alone can NOT be the sole basis upon which to condemn a part) and it is possible that your issue has nothing to do with the mas air flow sensor but rather a different engine management system or component. If you request the check engine light diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you to get the best possible results.

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