Most vehicles manufactured since early 1980s are equipped with an engine computer system. This computer uses several sensors to keep tabs on the different important factors that affect the vehicle’s performance. One of these sensors is the air mass meter. Otherwise known as the mass airflow (MAF) sensor, this component gauges the amount of airflow that enters the vehicle’s air intake and sends its reading to the engine computer, which makes use of the data to fine-tune fuel delivery and spark timing.
When this sensor gets defective, it may cause the Check Engine light to illuminate. It will also give inaccurate readings, affecting air-and-fuel ratio. This running on lean or rich fuel-and-air mixture can make the engine consume more fuel and perform poorly. The problem will surely get worse if you don’t replace the meter soon.
When purchasing an air mass meter, here are some dos and don’ts that will aid you in getting the best value for your money:
- DO get a MAF sensor that’s compatible with your car.
Compatibility with the air intake system and with the engine computer ensures excellent performance. So whether you’re purchasing a brand new or a remanufactured unit, check the product’s part number to be sure that it will fit in place of and work exactly like the original sensor.
- DO use street-performance MAF sensors for their intended purpose only.
Street-performance air mass meters must only be used for street-performance applications. When used properly, these MAF sensors can provide your ride with improved airflow, therefore boosting your engine’s power and mileage significantly.
- DON’T purchase a remanufactured sensor that isn’t backed up by a manufacturer warranty.
The warranty of the air mass meter gives you an assurance that the manufacturer is confident about the quality of its products. The longer the warranty coverage, the better because that means the maker is sure that the sensor will last long in service. A remanufactured unit should be backed up by a manufacturer’s full warranty.
- DON’T compromise quality for price.
Substandard meters can result in stalling, rough idling, and poorly performing engine. So when looking for a replacement MAF sensor, don’t ever put quality into compromise or you’ll just end up spending more. The savings you’ll get from purchasing a cheap, low-quality unit will just be taken away from you when the substandard air mass meter starts to take its toll on your fuel mileage and engine performance.