While no one would expect you to know your car inside out, piece by piece, being knowledgeable on some of the key systems and mechanisms as well as knowing some of the key signs of potential part failure is one of the most important parts of good, responsible car ownership.
As a Mercedes driver, it’s clear you’ve made a conscientious decision to select a reliable, well engineered, and gorgeously designed car. While the high level of craftsmanship of a Mercedes is built to last, time and use will take its toll upon even the most superior of cars. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at mass air flow (MAF) failure, and how it can affect the performance of your vehicle.
What is Mass Air Flow?
Most commonly, ‘mass air flow’ refers to the mass air flow sensor (MAF sensor) of your car. Located under the hood of the vehicle, the MAF sensor is a black and cylindrical device that connects to your car with different ports and valves. This sensor mainly interacts with the Mercedes’ onboard computer. The MAF sensor monitors the weight and temperature of the air flow entering the engine, in turn informing the computer of how much fuel to supply the engine for an optimum driving experience.
In short, happy mass air flow sensor means a happy on-board computer, and, most importantly, even happier engine.
MAF sensors come in two forms: ‘cold-wire’ and ‘hot-wire’ sensors. Most modern cars use the latter form. This hot-wire sensor measures the air flow by recording how much current is used to keep a wire at 90 degrees. The onboard computer can then read whether this takes more or less effort and adjust the fuel injection accordingly.
Why is the MAF Sensor Important?
Typically, the engine is the most valuable part of any car, and therefore, any system which is integral to its healthy running and maintenance is highly important. If your MAF sensor isn’t working properly, there are a whole host of inconvenient and potentially highly damaging signs to be aware of.
When pulling up to a red light or intersection, you may notice your Mercedes’ idling is anything but gentle. Where you should expect a soft hum, you may find instead that you are faced with a vehicle that feels shuddery, with a distinct rumbling from under the hood. As Mercedes cars are well known for their smooth driving experience, finding your prized vehicle suddenly offering anything but can become highly frustrating.
A sign of a failing MAF sensor which can become just as frustrating is how difficult the car can become to drive; stopping, stalling, and jerking motions will leave you feeling like you’re driving an old banger, instead of a luxury vehicle!
Perhaps worst of all for the bargain hunting driver is that without a well functioning MAF sensor, your vehicle’s fuel economy will be ruined. Without the sensor accurately informing the computer of how much fuel is required at each part of your journey, the computer will be left to guess, and will often overcompensate. This means your Mercedes will achieve nowhere near the miles per gallon it used to, resulting in you spending more at the gas pump than necessary.
Finally, in most severe cases, as the onboard computer is left guessing the air to fuel ratio within your engine, failed combustion or even severe damage to the engine can occur, resulting in an undrivable car, and some expensive repair bills.
Seeking Repairs and Maintenance
No need to worry, however, if you feel your MAF sensor may not be up to scratch, as, unlike with a failed engine, a failed sensor is a relatively cheap and easy repair to make.
If you’re a Mercedes driver looking to ensure the optimum driving capabilities of your quality car, and you live in the Berkeley, Piedmont, Emeryville, or Oakland area, then making your necessary repairs with Germany’s Best Inc. is, as our name suggests, the very best decision you can make.
With our wealth of knowledge of German engineering and a team of qualified experts, you’re sure to drive away happy knowing that thanks to the MAF sensor, your car is at its peak fuel economy and driving as smoothly and effortlessly as any Mercedes should.
* Mercedes-Benz GLC image credit goes to: teddyleung.