Hesitation When Accelerating? Could Be Your MAF Sensor

When you press down on your gas pedal, you expect your car to provide the horsepower you need, but one day, that might not happen. There are a lot problems that could arise, especially if you do not have your auto care specialist maintain your car regularly. One of those issues is hesitation when you accelerate, which could be due to your MAF sensor.

Detecting Issues With Your MAF Sensor

The MAF, or mass air flow, sensor helps your car's computer regulate the amount of air needed for your engine. This is important information so that your computer can request a specific amount of gasoline from your fuel pump. The ratio between air and fuel is essential for proper combustion and the overall quality of your drive.

Yet this sensor could fail you, and one of the common symptoms is hesitation or jerking when you accelerate your car. The jerking or hesitation will likely not occur if you are cruising at a constant speed.

Problems with your mass air flow sensor are also associated with the following symptoms:

  • Your check engine light might turn on from time to time.
  • The idle speed might surge or drop too much. It may also feel like your car is going to stall.
  • You start to see dark gray or black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe when you speed up.
  • The fuel economy that you are used to might suffer.

Be sure you talk to your auto care specialist about these symptoms so that he or she can help confirm your suspicions.

Replacing Your Own MAF Sensor

You will need the following:

  • Your owner's manual or repair guide
  • A new MAF sensor that belongs to your make, model, and year
  • Gloves and safety glasses
  • Socket and wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • A clean rag

To replace your MAF sensor, just follow the steps below:

  1. Park your vehicle in a safe and leveled location.
  2. Let your vehicle cool if you drove it so that you can easily work on it.
  3. Put your gloves and glasses on for your protection.
  4. Unplug the red or negative cable from battery for safety.
  5. Look for the air box. You can use your owner's manual or repair guide to find it.
  6. Open the air box, and remove the air filter. You might need your screwdriver here.
  7. Look for your MAF sensor, which is usually small and connected to a plug-like cable.
  8. Disconnect the plug from the sensor. You might need to use your socket and wrench set here.
  9. Remove the clamps or anything else holding the sensor in place. Clean the area.
  10. Replace with your new sensor, and reconnect the clamps and plug.
  11. Put the air filter and air box back in its place.
  12. Reconnect your battery, and you are done.

Hopefully this was able to take care of the issue you were having; just remember that you can always have your automotive repair specialist deal with this issue if you do not feel comfortable doing it on your own.