Keeping the Ford Mass Air Flow Sensor in Good Working Condition
The onboard computer is like the brains of the vehicle. It relies on signals sent by different sensors to run the vehicle as efficiently as it could. The mass air flow (MAF) sensor measures the weight of air that enters he engine also tracks the temperature. These measurements determine how much fuel is needed for combustion. Other than this, the sensor also helps in adjusting the spark timing. If the sensor is failing, this can lead to rough idling or stalling and may also cause poor fuel efficiency. To make sure that your Ford mass air flow sensor is sending the right signals and is working as well as it should, here are some things you can do for maintenance:
- Clean the MAF sensor regularly.
Why spend a couple hundred dollars for replacing the MAF sensor if you can just clean it to keep it running well for a long while? Clean it every 6 months or every time you change oil or replace the air filter. Don't wait till the sensor has become badly ruined or ineffective.
When cleaning the sensor, which is found in the air duct between the throttle body and the air filter box, you have to pull it out. Take note how the sensor is set up or connected, so you can put it back easily. As you remove the sensor, be careful with the wires. It's highly recommended that you use a mass air flow sensor cleaner, not just any cleaning solution that may ruin the part. Spray the cleaner onto the wire or plate. You don't have to scrub it. Just let the cleaner work and dry fully for a few minutes, as instructed by the manufacturer, before you set it back into place.
- Figure out if the MAF sensor is failing before it goes out completely.
A dirty MAF sensor can trigger the check engine light. When this starts to fail, it'll have more than a few symptoms. These symptoms are similar to when the vehicle suffers from low fuel pressure, low compression, or low vacuum. The engine won't be running as efficiently or as smoothly as it could with a faulty MAF sensor. It may stall right after starting or may be difficult to turn over. The engine may hesitate or jerk when the vehicle accelerates. There can also be engine hiccups or engine drags while it's idling or under load. Check to see if the MAF sensor is dirty or have it inspected thoroughly if you suspect that it's starting to fail. A complete computer diagnostic can be done for testing. With the right tool, the trouble code can be read and interpreted to figure out if the problem is with this sensor. Once confirmed, you can have this cleaned or replaced as needed.
- Have the air filter replaced according to maintenance schedule.
A clogged air filter can cause the MAF sensor to fill up with dirt easily and fail eventually. If the filter can no longer screen out impurities in the air that gets into the engine, then dirt or impurities will get through the different engine parts and may gather around the MAF sensor. The dirt buildup will make the sensor less reliable until it fails completely. To prevent sensor damage and failure, have the air filter replaced as needed to keep impurities out of the engine and to maintain the good condition of this sensor.