What is a Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor?
The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor measures the amount of air that enters the intake system of the internal combustion engine. There are multiple types of Mass Air Flow sensors but the most popular type is hot wire sensors. Often times, an internal air temperature (IAT) sensor is also installed within the MAF sensor.
How Does a Mass Air Flow Sensor Work?
The mass air flow sensor sits inside of the intake snorkel connected to the air intake box. Inside of the MAF sensor is a very hot wire. The air flowing through the intake snorkel from the air intake box cools that hot wire down. The more air that flows through, the more electric current the hot wire needs to stay at its correct temperature. Why does this matter? The amount of electrical current that is going through the wire is sent to the Power Control Module and used to calculate the amount of fuel that is required to maintain an optimal air/fuel ratio. Not only does this air flow sensor optimize the air/fuel ratio but also to determine the shift points in the transmission and also lowers the amount of exhaust emission.