Understanding the Mass Airflow Sensor

Vehicles require a perfect fuel-to-air ratio for proper engine performance. The vehicle’s computer helps regulate the amount of fuel in this ratio, and it must know how much air is coming into the engine. This data comes from the mass airflow sensor. If the mass airflow sensor stops working or gets dirty, your engine will struggle to perform well.

Gas engines run through the combustion process, and combustion requires the mixing of gas from inside the engine with air from outside the engine.

Understanding the Mass Airflow Sensor

Today’s engines have onboard computers that use a variety of sensors to make decisions. The mass airflow sensor sends the input to the onboard computer to help determine the air-fuel ratio. As the vehicle takes air from the outside environment and passes it into the engine through the air filter, the air flows past the mass flow sensor. The sensor measures the air, then signals the right amount of fuel to create the proper air-fuel mixture for combustion. If it becomes dirty or stops working properly, the vehicle’s gas mileage and overall performance suffer. When the sensor fails, the vehicle becomes unsafe to drive.

Signs the Mass Airflow Sensor Is Failing

If the mass airflow sensor is failing, your car will start to run poorly. One of the first signs of a problem is the check engine light. If the check engine light turns on, take your vehicle to the mechanic to have the code read, and the mechanic will tell you if the mass airflow sensor is the problem. You may also notice poor gas mileage.

If the mass airflow sensor is not replaced quickly, your car’s performance will continue to struggle, causing additional problems, such as:

  • Misfiring
  • Poor idling
  • Surges
  • Unexpected stalls

All of this occurs because the air-fuel ratio is incorrect. The computer is told there is more or less air than the engine really has, and the wrong amount of fuel is sent. In some cases, a faulty airflow sensor means the car won’t run at all. This is a critical problem that must be addressed for your car to continue running properly.

Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement Cost

Replacing the mass airflow sensor should cost $300 or less for parts and labor for most civilian cars, trucks, and SUVs. It is not a complex job, so pricing is dictated mostly by the price of the actual replacement sensor.

  • Mass Airflow Sensor Part: Between $100 to $200
  • Labor to Remove and Replace: $20 to $100
  • Total Job Cost: $120 to $300

Pricing Considerations

The make and model of the car will impact the cost of this repair, and the cost depends on where the sensor is located as well as the cost of the replacement part. For example, a Chevy Silverado costs between $140 and $200 for this job, while a Toyota Camry may cost as much as $300.

The mass airflow sensor may seem like a minor part of your vehicle, but when it fails, your vehicle is no longer safe to drive. At the first sign of problems, have the vehicle inspected to determine the problem, and replace the airflow sensor before you suffer a stalled vehicle in the middle of a busy intersection.

Schedule Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement

Call My Transmission Experts to schedule service and have your mass airflow sensor replaced. We have five locations: west Houston on Hwy 6 North near West Little York; Northwest Houston near Jersey Village on Jones Road near Grant Rd; Katy on Mason Rd just south of I10; Montgomery on TX-105 near Conroe; and Kingwood on TX-494 Loop.