An air mass meter is an extremely sensitive component that plays a fundamental role in the engine control of a vehicle. A defective air mass meter can therefore trigger various malfunctions and significantly affect the performance of the car. In our article, we focus on the exact function of an air mass meter and reveal how a possible defect in this component can be identified.
The exact function of an air mass meter
An air mass meter is a fine sensor that is an important part of an engine’s intake system and determines the mass, pressure and temperature of the intake air and forwards it to the control unit. The determined values virtually guarantee a smooth combustion process and serve as the basis for calculating the required amount of fuel. Accordingly, the air mass meter not only influences the engine management of the vehicle, but also keeps the exchange of pollutants at the lowest possible level. It is therefore all the more important that the mass air flow sensor is checked by a competent car workshop in the event of possible defects.
These signs indicate a defect
First of all, it should be mentioned that an air mass meter is one of the components that are almost continuously exposed to oily intake air, dirt particles and moisture and are therefore subject to natural wear. Increased ingress of moisture is often favored by spray water and leaks in the intake tract and is therefore often responsible for a defect in the air mass meter. First and foremost, a defective air mass meter prevents the correct determination of the fuel quantity, so that either too much or too little fuel is often sucked in. This in turn results in a drop in engine performance, which is particularly noticeable at low speeds. But even high speeds can hardly be achieved with a defective air mass meter, since the engine only works according to predefined values so as not to deviate too much from the optimal exhaust gas values. In addition to this uneven engine running, misfiring and an automatic transition to the emergency mode in the event of a defective air mass meter can also often be observed. The throttled engine performance also affects fuel consumption, so that increased refueling can also indicate a defect. Although the signs mentioned here speak for damage to the air mass meter, we would like to emphasize at this point that a defective air mass meter is not always immediately noticeable.
Replacing an air mass meter in the car workshop
Since an air mass meter is a very sensitive sensor that is usually installed and removed with a special tool, we advise against repairing it yourself. If you suspect damage to the air mass meter, you should contact your trusted car workshop. A precise analysis and reading out the OBD error memory can be used to reliably determine whether there is actually a defect in the air mass meter. Depending on the type and severity of the damage, either cleaning or a complete replacement of the component is recommended. If only dirt particles and oil have settled on the air mass meter, the use of a special cleaner is usually sufficient. Cleaning, including removal and installation, takes only a few minutes and costs between around 30 and 120 euros. If the sensor is completely damaged, the specialist staff will replace the air mass meter. Such an exchange can usually be carried out within an hour, so that the workload remains comparatively manageable. Depending on the type of vehicle, the cost of a change is between around 100 and 380 euros. All values mentioned here serve as a rough guide. The exact price for a single car repair can vary depending on the workshop.
Conclusion: A functioning air mass meter is crucial for the roadworthiness of the vehicle
An air mass meter supports smooth engine management and should therefore be replaced immediately in the event of a possible defect. An exchange as well as a cleaning of the sensor is possible in every car workshop and should therefore not be delayed for long. If you don’t make any compromises when choosing a car workshop, you will ensure the roadworthiness of your vehicle in the long term.
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