How To Trick A Mass Air Flow Sensor With 3 Simple Steps

A bad MAF will cause great inconvenience to the driver and affect the function of your vehicle.

Thus, tricking around is a method of fixing when this element goes bad. This writing shows you how to trick a mass air flow sensor properly.

Furthermore, there is related information about this problem that would help improve your driving experience.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Review

How To Trick A Mass Air Flow Sensor


The mass air flow sensor (MAF) stays in the intake manifold of the engine, between the intake manifold and the air filter. It is a crucial component in the function of your car’s electronic fuel injection system.

The MAF sensors are available in multiple types, which are relevant to different vehicles. The most popular ones are hot film and hot wire types with a similar operation.

Some might wonder, can you bypass MAF sensor?. The answer is Yes.


The MAF sensor generally controls the amount of air getting into your car’s engine.

Meanwhile, the powertrain control module (PCM) makes use of its signal to calculate the fuel needed to support the engine. The more air there is, the more fuel is required.

In order to measure the airflow, the power control module constantly offers an electric current to heat up the hot film or hot wire component.

Then the airflow cools down this element, which helps reduce its electrical resistance.

Therefore, the current demand will increase at the same time, which is used to determine how much air has entered the vehicle engine.

However, some cars do not have a MAF sensor as they use the Speed Density System modules instead.

Thus, the powertrain control measures the fuel delivered by the air input from other sensors such as the manifold absolute pressure type.

How To Trick A Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Should I Trick My MAF Sensor?

Yes, even when you do not know: why is your old or new mass air flow sensor not working?, it is necessary to do the trick. If the sensor is out of order, it will affect the balanced function of the engine.

Particularly, there may be too much fuel compared to the flow of air in the combustion chambers; then, the explosions within the cylinder are uncontrolled.

As a result, this imbalance damages the pistons and valves of your vehicle.  

Instructions To Trick Your MAF Sensor


A tube with a special design has the same size and shape as your MAF sensor. While the mass air flow sensor is made from plastic, this tube is made from metal but offers a similar function.


Step 1: Place the tube in the front of the ignition source to heat up and provide your MAF sensor a similar temperature to the fuel-air mixture coming out from the vehicle’s tailpipe.

Step 2: Use whatever type of gas you have in hand, except the bad gasoline for cars.

As the MAF sensor is sensitive to heat, the different types of gas offer almost the same outcomes of how hot it gets and how much mixture of fuel and air it produces.

Step 3: Pay attention to the heat released from an open flame as it would trick the mass air flow sensor into a higher reading than the required level. This phenomenon will pose some risks to your car’s engine.

Note that tricking is just a bandage for a broken MAF sensor. Consider applying a new sensor when the issue is more serious.

Common Issues Of MAF Sensor And Disadvantages


Illuminated Check Engine Light

The MAF sensor is the primary computer of your vehicle. Once it has an issue, the PMC will have the check engine light on, and the diagnostic trouble code will be stored in the memory.

The popular MAF-related diagnostic trouble codes comprise P0100 through P0103. A faulted sensor would also trigger the codes about the imbalance of fuel/air ratio or a misfire of the engine.

Too Low Or Too High Air-Fuel Rate

As mentioned before, the amount of fuel and air in your engine has to be equal to maintain normal function.

Once the PCM receives wrong information about the ratio, it leads to rough running and misfiring.

When the vehicle is running rich, it means too much air has been consumed or too much fuel stored in the engine.

The cause of this problem is the dust and dirt built-up in the sensor. You just need to clean the wires in this component to deal with it.

The same symptom comes from the low rate of air and fuel flow.

If the car keeps running lean for too long, there will be serious damage happening. Having the engine inspected and fixed by a professional is highly recommended.

Lack Of Acceleration, Stalling, And Hesitation

When the MAF sensor goes bad, it will trick the PCM as the engine lacks fuel. It will impair acceleration. Other outcomes of this problem are the stalling and hesitation of your car.

Poor Fuel Economy

Poor fuel economy is the problem when the engine control module has an issue and adds more fuel than usual. It means a faulty MAF sensor has thrown off the engine’s performance.


At least the 08 signal air mass flow sensor listed above that notices when this component goes bad will lead to some typical risks for your vehicle.

  • The power released from your engine is more than necessary, which leads to faster worn-out components because of being overused.
  • The engine runs lean and causes the lack of fuel required for smooth combustion. This process results in improper combustion and increases the amount of carbon monoxide emission that can lead to CO poisoning.
  • The vehicle can also run rich due to too much fuel consumed. The wasted amount will affect the performance of the engine and increase the exhaust fumes.


How To Diagnose A Bad MAF Sensor?

Besides knowing how to trick mass air flow sensor, you should equip yourself with basic techniques to diagnose your vehicle’s engine.

Step 1. When the check light is on, analyze the DTCs through a code reader or a scan tool. Then you can figure out if there is any issue relating to the MAF sensor or the circuit through a DTC stored in the memory of the PCM.

Step 2. Have a visual examination. Have a look at the wires or connections in the located area inside the car. Particularly, ensure that there is no dirt buildup on the electrical connector.

Step 3. Test the mass airflow sensor. The outcome of the hot wire type is an analog voltage signal. Meanwhile, the hot film type frequently provides the digital pattern of a square wave.

Can You Drive With A Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Although you can keep driving under some circumstances when this element goes bad, it is advised to address the problem right after the sign.

Or else the surrounding or linking components in your car, like the catalytic converter, will be damaged.

There are some cars that stop right after the MAF is in trouble as the engine performs poorly, causing difficulties for the vehicle to run.

How Often Does A Mass Air Flow Sensor Need To Be Replaced?

In fact, there is no accurate expiration date for your MAF sensor. However, it is fine to replace a new one if you find it necessary.

Normally, experienced drivers advise that you should replace this element after every 10,000 to 12,000 miles to maintain the best performance.


Common Issues Of MAF Sensor And Disadvantages

Knowing how to trick a mass air flow sensor is necessary for drivers to have a prompt repair besides resetting the MAF sensor before taking the vehicle to a mechanic.

Once this element fails, its reading and the miles per gallon displayed will be inaccurate. As a result, you have to waste more money on buying fuel and improving car performance.

Thus, consider the tips provided carefully to avoid or quickly solve this problem.

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