Every automotive part is fitted in its respective location to help the vehicle function properly. For instance, a sensor that is intended to monitor the exhaust gases needs to be placed in the exhaust system. When the sensor is placed outside the system, it doesn't help the system in any way. In addition, when related parts are assembled together, they also eliminate the need of unnecessary linkages. This section focuses on the location and function of mass air flow (MAF) sensors.
The right extent of combustion in the cylinders is key to the optimum performance of the engine. Modern cars have many electronic systems that control the flow of air and fuel to the motor. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is what dictates the right amount of air and fuel to be delivered to the engine. Basically, the amount of fuel sent to the engine is determined by the ECU with respect to the amount of air entering the engine. This is where the mass air flow sensor enters the process. The mass air flow sensor is the first sensor that reads the amount of air coming into the motor at any point of time when the vehicle is running.
The mass air meter can usually be found just after the air box. The MAF sensor may also be located in a different position down the intake plenum but will always be before the throttle body. This location is so that the sensor can measure the amount of air entering the engine. Based on the reading from the sensor, the ECU calculates the amount of fuel to be sent to the engine. In most cases, locating the mass air flow sensor includes the following procedure: After opening the hood of your car, find the air cleaner assembly. From the air cleaner assembly, you can see a plastic tube connecting to the intake manifold of the engine. You can find the mass air flow sensor in the plastic housing. The MAF sensor is connected to the ECU using a wiring harness. To know the exact location of the MAF sensor in your vehicle, you can refer to your owner's manual.
As the mass air flow sensor is located after the air filter, it is likely to be subjected to accumulation of debris in case of a failed air filter. Regularly cleaning and inspecting the mass air flow sensors is essential to maintain their proper function. A faulty MAF sensor can cause all sorts of engine problems such as stalling, rough idling and hard starting. All these problems will prevent the engine from providing the ideal efficiency and mileage.
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