Mass Air Flow Sensor Failure in Volkswagen

The mass airflow (MAF) sensor is an important part that contributes significantly to your Volkswagen’s functioning. Since MAF sensors aren’t all made in the same way with the same parts and pieces, it’s critical to have a Volkswagen specialist attend to diagnostic and repair procedures for the part. The MAF sensor is a part that generally lasts throughout the lifespan of your Volkswagen; however, occasionally the part can become damaged or malfunction requiring servicing or replacement. In this article, we’ll talk more about the MAF sensor part in general, including what you should be on the lookout for when it starts having issues.

Why is the mass airflow sensor important for your Volkswagen?

Although the MAF sensor is a relatively small part, its purpose is large. It helps to configure the proper air and fuel mixture to deliver to the engine for proper combustion and ignition processes. Then, with a series of other contributing components and parts, the sensor relays information to the car’s on-board computer about the amount of air flowing into the engine. Your Volkswagen’s computer analyzes the information to figure out how much fuel the engine needs to adapt to the driving conditions. It’s concerning when the mass airflow sensor malfunctions or wears prematurely, as it can lead to troublesome and inconvenient symptoms. The longer the issue goes unaddressed, the more damage the engine and other components incur.

Warning signs to look out for

As we mentioned before, the mass airflow sensor greatly contributes to how your Volkswagen performs on a daily basis. If the MAF sensor begins to fail or falter, it can create noticeable symptoms that you’ll want to bring to your Volkswagen specialist to diagnose. It’s also important that you relay the symptoms accurately to your automotive shop, as they will always attempt to re-create the problem as per your experience. Here are the most common warning signs of a failing MAF sensor that you should be aware of:

Decrease in gas mileage

Volkswagens are partly known for their fuel efficiency, as they are one of the fewer high performance vehicles on the market that are still able to maintain excellent gas mileage. If you begin to notice that your gas mileage or fuel efficiency has taken a dive, it’s important to bring your VW in for an inspection – the issue could be due to a failing MAF sensor.

Engine stalling

Engine stalling is often due to the engine not receiving the proper amount of fuel or air in order to combust or ignite. Usually when your engine stalls it takes a toll on your engine over time, so it’s important not to let the problem persist. It is also common for the check-engine light to illuminate when the engine stalls, which can aid your VW specialist in diagnosing the problem.

Lowered power capacity

As a high performance car, it’s highly disappointing when your VW expresses a decrease in power capacity. For the same basic reason that the engine may stall when the MAF sensor fails, you may also experience a decrease in power.

Idling issues

Many drivers don’t pay much attention to their car as it idles in the driveway or at a stop sign; however, the way your car idles can tell you a lot about what’s going on with the engine. Rough idling could be due to a failing MAF sensor, but it’s important to have your VW specialist perform a thorough differential diagnosis to eliminate other potential causes.

Problems with starting or igniting

Volkswagen cars are known for their reliability and consistency. When you run into starting problems it can be highly concerning, and it could be related to MAF sensor failure. It is also common to be able to start the car, but only for it to stall immediately after.

How to prevent MAF sensor malfunction

MAF sensor malfunction or failure is critical to address right away; not only will continue to experience symptoms the longer the problem goes on, but the symptoms will only worsen as time goes by. To prevent MAF sensor failure, follow these steps:

• Bring your VW to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment
• Remove and clean the MAF sensor as needed
• Attend to other contributing parts like the PCV valve
• Follow your routine maintenance schedule set forth by the Volkswagen manufacturer

As long as you stay on these tasks, you’ll likely avoid MAF sensor failure. Here at Orion Automotive Services, we have attended to MAF sensor issues countless times over the years. If you have experienced concerning symptoms in your VW, please call us to schedule an appointment right away.

* Volkswagen Cars on Road image credit goes to: shaunl.

* Volkswagen Touareg ІІ image credit goes to: PavloBaliukh.

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