When you change a critical component of your car, you should expect some possible side effects. The MAF sensor is one of the most important sensors that work hand-in-hand with the engine. Yes, it does get damaged due to quite a several reasons, and when that happens, the only alternative is to replace the sensor.
But you may notice some problems after replacing MAF sensor, such as the check engine still illuminated, low engine power, unable drive with a stable RPM, and other signs of a bad MAF sensor. Mainly, these issues occur if you didn’t reset the ECU after the sensor change.
This article explains what to do after replacing the mass airflow sensor so that your car would drive smoothly as you expected!
Problems After Replacing MAF Sensor
You may experience some problems relating to a bad MAF sensor, even after you just changed the sensor. These problems occur due to a number of reasons, but the majorly improper installation of the new sensor. When the new MAF sensor is not installed correctly, it can exhibit the same symptoms as a bad one.
Also, after replacing the MAF sensor; if done by a professional technician, the professional should know that he is supposed to reset the ECU and other adjust a few other components, depending on the car model.
As a driver/car owner, after changing the MAF sensor, if you encounter similar issues as you did when the sensor was bad, then you need to take the car back to the technician that did the change, so he can diagnose and know what’s causing those symptoms to re-occur.
On the other hand, if you did the replacement, hereunder are tips on what to do after replacing the MAF sensor.
See Also: Sensors That Can Make a Car Not to Start
What To Do After Replacing Mass Air Flow Sensor
These tips can help you fix most issues that occur after installing a new MAF sensor; apply them carefully.
1. Crosscheck the Installation
You shouldn’t be in a rush to install the sensor; after you’re done with the entire installation process, go back to check if you installed the sensor properly.
Also, confirm that all surrounding components you had to remove to install the new sensor were correctly re-installed. If everything looks good, yet, the problems persist, try the other tips below.
2. Disconnect the Battery
Some vehicles would clear error codes automatically if you disconnect the battery for a number of minutes. While this does not work on all vehicles, you could still try it out and see if the check engine light or any other MAF-related issue you’re facing would disappear.
3. Reset the ECU
This is the most effective way to solve problems with the newly-installed Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF Sensor). The MAF sensor is one of the prominent sources the ECU gets the information (signals) it uses to decide the air-fuel ratio for the engine.
A bad MAF sensor would alter the ECU algorithms, so, when you install a new one, the ECU needs to be reset. Well, resetting the ECU is a bit technical depending on the type and model of vehicle being talked about.
In some vehicles, removing the battery can reset the ECU, while in most modern cars, you need an auto scanner like the OBDII scanner. With the scanner, you’d need to diagnose the car to discover the error codes, then follow specific steps to clear the codes and reset the car computer.
4. Disconnect the MAF Sensor
Probably, the MAF sensor you installed is faulty and does not give good reading to the ECU. In such a case, you’d experience a similar issue as with a bad MAF sensor.
However, a car can drive without the MAF sensor connected – although you shouldn’t see this as a lasting solution and decide never to connect back to the MAF.
Disconnecting the MAF sensor would reset the ECU – forcing the ECU to use information (signals) from other good sensors on the car to make a calculated guess on what should be the air inflow ratio into the engine, then rely on the guessed ratio to decide the air-to-fuel ratio.
Note: Do not leave the MAF sensor disconnected for so long – it could result in more expensive damage. The information provides by a good MAF sensor is useful to many car components.
If you experience these problems after replacing MAF sensor, you should first check if the sensor was properly installed, then the second approach is the disconnect the car’s battery for about 10 – 20 minutes, or longer, while the car is idling.
If these tips don’t fix it for you, use an OBDII scanner to figure out the exact issues with your car – with the diagnosis result, you can reset the ECU and fix any component that needs to be fixed (based on the auto scanner results).
Hopefully, this article answered your query perfectly; do have a great day.