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Air Mass Meter

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Some engine problems are mind-boggling. It's as if a mysterious curse was cast down on it. Such is the consequence of a faulty air mass meter. Its symptoms are similar to just about every other part failure there is-rough idling and acceleration, hesitation, or even stalling. Most owners would easily suspect everything else-bad spark plugs, wires, distributor, fuel filter, pump and injectors, timing-whatever makes the engine tick. But in the end, what you really need is a new air mass meter. Replacing everything else will prove useless. This component measures the mass of air entering the engine. This information is sent to the Engine Control Unit (ECU), enabling the engine to mix the proper proportions of fuel and air to create power efficiently. A faulty meter may send incorrect readings. Thus, the ECU will mix the wrong amounts of fuel with air. The only solution is to get an OEM replacement. Otherwise, your engine is doomed. A faulty meter will only worsen over time. Eventually, it gets so screwed up that you won't even be able to start your engine. Don't get misled by the signs. Now that you know what the problem is, you can do something about it with the help of Auto Parts Warehouse. We have an extensive collection of air mass meters available at the comfort of a click. And you no longer have to worry about compatibility. Just key-in your car's make, model, and year and our servers will find compatible air mass meters for your car.

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The Dos and Don'ts when Purchasing an Air Mass Meter

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 vehicleís 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 vehicleís 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 donít replace the meter soon.

When purchasing an air mass meter, here are some dos and doníts that will aid you in getting the best value for your money:


  • DO get a MAF sensor thatís compatible with your car.

Compatibility with the air intake system and with the engine computer ensures excellent performance. So whether youíre purchasing a brand new or a remanufactured unit, check the productís 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 engineís power and mileage significantly.


  • DONíT purchase a remanufactured sensor that isnít 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 manufacturerís full warranty.

  • DONíT compromise quality for price.

Substandard meters can result in stalling, rough idling, and poorly performing engine. So when looking for a replacement MAF sensor, donít ever put quality into compromise or youíll just end up spending more. The savings youíll 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.

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Two Ways to Check Your Ride's Air Mass Meter

The air mass meter or mass airflow (MAF) sensor determines the amount of airflow that gets into the vehicleís air intake system. The sensorís reading is sent to and used by the engine computer to adjust fuel delivery, spark timing, and spark advance. A defective meter can result in poor fuel economy, rough idle, and stalling.

If you observe one or all of these symptoms in your ride, youíd better test your MAF sensor immediately.

Difficulty level: Easy

What youíll need:

  • Voltmeter
  • Ohmmeter
  • Straight pins

Testing the air mass meter/MAF sensor

Step 1: Prepare your ride by parking it on flat, solid ground and turning both the engine and the ignition off.

Step 2: Get in front of the vehicle and open the hood. Locate the meter and its electrical connector. Itís usually positioned on the air filter housingís intake duct, right in front of the engine. Consult your manual if you find it hard to find the sensorís exact location. Then, carefully disconnect the sensorís electrical connectors.

Step 3: In the sensor, look for the terminal marked as ďSIGĒ. Get the ohmmeter and connect its positive probe into the sensorís ďSIGĒ terminal.

Step 4: Now, locate the MAF sensorís ďGNDĒ terminal and connect the ohmmeterís negative probe into it.

Step 5: Take note of the reading from the ohmmeter. If the result indicates that thereís open circuit or infinite resistance, this means that the air mass meterís hot wire element has gone bad.

Testing for power supply

Step 1: With the vehicle still parked, turn the ignition on without starting the engine.

Step 2: Find the air mass meter and disengage and remove the electrical connector going to it.

Step 3: In this test, youíll be using the voltmeter. Connect the voltmeterís negative probe to the GND terminal of the sensor. Then, attach the positive probe to the sensorís B+ terminal.

Step 4: Test the voltage on the sensor and record the reading. If you obtain a voltage reading of zero, that means thereís no or not enough electricity getting into the air mass meter from the vehicleís on board computer. This is a clear indication that the meter is already malfunctioning and should be replaced soon. If it is working well, you should be able to record a steady fluctuation in the voltage.