The MAF sensor is also known as the Mass Air Flow sensor. It is in charge of measuring the volume of air that enters the engine’s combustion chamber. The MAF provides this measurement to your Porsche’s Engine Control Unit (ECU). This is the primary computer. The ECU will then use the data to calculate the exact amount of fuel needed for optimal engine performance. When it has made this calculation, it will instruct the fuel injectors to add fuel to the combustion chamber. A failing MAF sensor will affect this harmonious balance, potentially ruining the performance of your Porsche and putting its engine under strain.
MAF Sensor Wires
Located between the air filter and the throttle body, your MAF sensor most commonly includes a hot wire, though vintage cars may use a cold wire sensor instead. The MAF sensor contains one hot wire sensor and one wire which stays at ambient temperature. Alongside these wires, the MAF sensor has a microprocessor. This is what creates the usable data. It compiles the necessary air flow data by recording the amount of energy that is needed to keep the hot wire at a steady 200F over that of the ambient temperature wire. When collated, this information is sent to the ECU.
Warning Signs for MAF Failure
MAF sensor failure can cause symptoms which can often be mistaken for compression or vacuum issues and sometimes low fuel pressure or fuel pump failure. This means that oftentimes, a failing MAF sensor can be tricky to diagnose. However, the most common symptoms which can be directly attributed to MAF failure are as follows:
- Starting issues or an engine which finds turning over difficult.
- Frequent engine stalling, most commonly experienced in the minutes after starting.
- The engine feels hesitant, particularly when in idling or loaded down.
- The engine hiccups.
- An engine which runs rich or lean.
Because MAF sensor problems can be troublesome to figure out, it is usually best to err on the side of caution when faced with the above symptoms and seek professional diagnostic work. This is because a MAF sensor issue will trigger the ECU to send out clear error codes which a mechanic can swiftly read with diagnostic equipment. This means that getting to the heart of the problem is far quicker and more affordable than poking around under the hood yourself.
MAF Sensor Maintenance
While diagnosing issues with your MAF sensor is best left to the professional Porsche mechanics, maintaining the sensor is a job you can do at home. This DIY service work can help to prolong the lifespan of the part. The best way to maintain your MAF sensor is to clean it. You should do this every 6 months or when you change your oil, as you’ll need to remove the MAF sensor when you do this anyway.
To clean your sensor follow the steps below
1. Remove the Sensor
Cleaning your MAF sensor will require you to remove the unit. This is done by opening your Porsches’ air box. You will need a flat-head screwdriver. When removing the sensor, be careful since you don’t want to touch or damage the fragile wires integral to the sensor. Should these wires become damaged, then replacement parts will set your back $100.
2. Sensor Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning the sensor, you have 2 options. You can either place it in a bag of rubbing alcohol and gently shake the bag or your can buy specialized MAF sensor spray cleaner. The cleaner can be purchased from any auto repair shop, and to use this, you only need to spray the fluid onto the sensor.
3. Drying and Reinstalling the Sensor
Your newly-cleaned sensor will need to sit a while before you can reinstall it to ensure it is completely dry. This can take at least 20 minutes. So in the meantime, you could change your oil. Once the MAF sensor is completely dry, all you need to do is reverse the steps you undertook to remove it, and with that, you’re done.
Escondido German Auto
Whether you drive a Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Sprinter, or Volkswagen, Escondido German Auto is on hand to help you diagnose your MAF sensor problems. Our friendly team is perfectly situated for residents of Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Valley Center, CA. Our knowledgeable experts are waiting to take your call so come in or give us a buzz today.