Running without a Mass Air Flow sensor?


Asked by Jun 11, 2013 at 05:53 AM about the 2000 Buick LeSabre Custom

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My Mass Air Flow sensor and the car was stalling all the time.
Once we disconnected it, everything started to work fine again. Can we go on without it?
what will be the long time effect?

32 Answers


If it runs better when unplugged, then it is not reading correctly. Could be just dirty, or it failed. Are you getting a check engine light?

24 of 24 people found this helpful.

The 'check engine' light is on, but it's been on for a while now, not necessarily because of me disconnecting the MAF sensor. The situation is that right now i am running with the MAF disconnected completely (i disconnected it on purpose), and the car's running great (when it was connected it was awefull - stalling all the time). I am very happy with that setup, and can stay with it. But I am worried that it might do damage on the longer term. Will it?

35 of 35 people found this helpful.

Probably no damage, just reduced fuel mileage. Why don't you have the car scanned for codes and correct the issue that is causing your idle problem instead of disconnecting the MAF? It's probably a small vacuum leak. Post the code back here so we can help futher.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

How can I detect/solve a vacuum leak? When I turn on the car there's sort of a barking sound for a few seconds (only with the MAF disconnected).

21 of 21 people found this helpful.

Do what Tom suggested. The OBD might even know which hose it is, IF it is a hose. Meantime just look carefully for cracked or loose hoses, a hose dangling with no "home" or a nipple that if you put you finger on it you will feel the suction (with car running)

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

Is it likely that its not related to a vacuum leakage? And is the only problem with running without it is fuel consumption? or could there be other damages?

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Joe, since your reposting, this concerns you. The MAF is critical to measuring incoming air which is metered for proper engine function. Fuel and spark. So just get the codes read at your local auto parts store (autozone) for free and you can stop second guessing yourself. OK?

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 Buick Lesebra limited, we had a problem with rough idle, then stalling once it got hot, error code said Mass air sensor, so we replaced it, still had the same problem, took it to our local mechanic of 22 years, he said the fuel pressures were low and suggested replacing the fuel pump, so we had him do that, ran fine for 24 hrs, and then it started to rough idle on start, but no idiot light.. after driving it from Orlando to Jacksonville, on the way home the idiot light came on, and it rough idled on start, now its stalling again when hot, had to two foot it all the way home from dropping my kid off at Disney today and even still it stalled out once hot 5 times.. usually when coming to a stop and the rpm is bellow 1, or you simply don't pump the gas hard enough while breaking.. the error codes now are Mass air sensor and O2 sensor.. seriously getting tired of chasing our tail replacing probably good parts.. Oh, Mechanic said, who knows that the pressures in the fuel system were back to normal, however I'm sure he didn't drive it for 45 mins till it got good and hot either.. any Ideas guys, I'm desperate for some help.. Mechanic said to return the Mass air sensor to Autozone and get a new one.. might be defective, the original one tested fine when we ran it though the trouble shooting steps, but replaced it anyways..

18 of 18 people found this helpful.

I believe it could be your crankshaft position sensor there is a video on YouTube and how to do it yourself if you are ambitious enough to do it it is not all that hard and the list of tools he provides can be bought at Harbor Freight

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

my message is in response to bitty 1981... watch? v=40VN5j1xc3A&feature=y outube_gdata_player

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

if not that ... the only other option could be the IAC sensor.... but in regards to both parts they are relatively cheap it is the labor associated with the crankshaft position sensor that might be slightly costly

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I myself have a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8 supercharged and after much research and speaking with a very skilled mechanic I've come to realize my mass air flow sensor is bad through first checking all the vacuum lines then removing the harness and letting the engine run for a while... the idle problem went away confirming that the MAF sensor was bad...I will be replacing it... the one big indicator that you're crankshaft position sensor is bad is that the car won't start once its hot you have to let the engine cool down before you get start it again

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

i have an 2001 pontiac grand prix gt and i can disconnect my maf sensor tps sensor and the other sensors on the carperater and it dosent shut off of change anything retaining to the engine, but i can only drive my car for about 3.5 miles before it louses power and putts out, once it putts out i can wait about an hour and drive another 3.5 miles and do it all over again, and i replaced the maf sensor, tps sensor, 1 bad coil, cat. converter, fuel pump, and fuel filter, and also got a new upper and lower intake, and it still putts out after 3.5 miles...?????????

42 of 42 people found this helpful.

I have a 1997 grand marquis when i am driving and i come to a stop sign and i stop when i go to take off it doesnt want to pick up speed also when i floor it it doesnt go at all or make any noise so my cousin disconected the mass flow air sensor and now my car runs perfect so my question is should i get a new air sensor or could the problem be something else and can i drive my car with it disconected

81 of 81 people found this helpful.

I have a 2006 Suzuki Forenza, I am trying to figure out the issue with this car stalling. I have codes p2106, p1110 and p161B. I just replaced the throttle body and 02 sensor but cant seem to find whats making the car stall. It drives perfect then all of a sudden while im driving it stalls occasionally. It will run perfect for a few days then start acting up again. once it stalls it starts right back up and will drive like nothing just happen! can anybody give advice on what the problem can be with the codes I have?? Thanks in advance.

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

I have an 01 Sentra that bogs out when it gets acceleration an it idles ruff an stalls until it warms up does the same in gear its throwing engine code p01000 I disconnected the maf sensor an it still does the same thing help plzzz

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

if it keeps stalling out when you take you foot of the gas to slow down to make turns or stop at a light it is most likely your idle air control valve needs to be replaced takes less then five minutes to change

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If you are installing a idle air control valve in a 1990 Buick Century you better have a screwdriver that is magnetic. You have to stick your hand between the exhaust manifold and some lines.Kept dropping the screws it's hard to get it in there. After removing the intakethat is attached to the filterI was able to get at it better

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I have an 03 galant. It idles hard at lights. Runs fine in neutral.then all of a sudden it would cut off seconds after it started. I changed timing, balance shaft belt. Thoughts now are MAF sensor. Cleaned it, it still was shutting off. Now I disconnected it and it's running but I'm not sure if I need a new MAF or what.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Well, I have to join this conversation. My 02 Impala 3.4 is cutting off while im driving. Code read MAF. I hope this is it, because Ive only jad this car ten months, and replaced everything but the engine itself.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Wow, I guess im going to add to this as well. Im running a 2001 BMW 325Ci, I recently rebuilt the engine on this car and replaced almost every part possible to get max performance from it, by that i mean high performance parts. When I unplug the MAF sensor my car runs fine. No longer bogs, stalls, nada. The second i plug it back in it runs rough, stalls etc. The current MAF sensor is brand new (4 days old) from BMW themselfs, not only that but I dont have a check engine light on or anything. I do all work myself so I know nobody just cleared a code. Only when I unplug my MAF does it then come on. My father is a 30 year ASE mechanic and he's been stumped by this as well. Any suggestions?

15 of 15 people found this helpful.

I bought a 1997 buick lesabre with 65,miles I thought I was getting a deal. I went through all the electrical and checked the vacumn lines. I replaced the MAF sensor it ran better but still way off. I put in my 3rd MAF sensor in 2 weeks and now the car is no longer stalling. My car is running like a clock.. I have read that after market sensor's were not very reliable so that is why I went back to the MAF sensor for my problem.. I am good to go for now.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

Yeah if you run with the maf sensor to long the amount of air coming in could be to much and that will burn up your rings

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2001 Mercedes ml320 I've changed the fuel pump the fuel filter the mass airflow sensor for time throttle positioning sensor checked all my vacuum lines when I hit the gas my car wants to fall on its face

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I tend to agree with the aftermarket maf sensor not compatible with the GM products. I would make sure the egr valve is not stuck in the open or closed position

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 93 Buick Century and I have the same problem with the mass airflow sensor I unplug it ithe car runs a little bit better but has no power when it's plugged in but the pedal to the floor and it bogs out like it's going to die somebody said it may be a ground wire on the mass airflow sensor itself because it's the second one that I put in and it's no difference from the old one to the new one I still do not know what the problem is with this car wtf?

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

my 2001 buick lasabre will not run with the mass flow sensor hooked up. ive tried a cheap on and an oem absolutly will not run. without it hooked up it runs except when approaching 70 mph, where it bogs down and loses power no matter how much gas. the code is for the maf no matter which one is hooked up

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

We have replaced the MAF, Map, both Oxgen sensors on our car and the car is not wanting to start and if you don't unplug the MAF it won't stay running. what could be wrong now? We have had a code reader put on it several times and replaced it all. I know the MAF could still be bad even tho it is new. How can you tell and where can I check for air leaks?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

After you have checked for vacuum leaks and lose wires etc. 1) Ignition Control Module (ICM) or coil / coils. Sometimes will idle but will have no power. Sometimes wont start at all. 2) Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF). If it runs fine with it unplugged its most likely your problem. Replace it with a new ACDelco unit or get an ACDelco from the junk yard. 3) Check fuel pressure and fuel pressure regulator valve. 4) Check coolant temp sensor. 5) Check crankshaft position sensor. Will usually cold start but die when it warms up. 6) Might want to check the injectors by unplugging one at a time while the car is running.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

2001 CHEVY MONTE CARLO -car runs better without maf also so I am going to return to junk yard in hoped to find another for around 35$. however still loosing so much power my check ingine light throwing NO codes but the car stall at 30 mph And 50 mph with the maf plugged in? some mechanics told me cat converter , iv hear tranny iv heard fuel igjectors, im a chic with little to know knowledge on this issue

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

i have a simple easy way to check if your Mass air flow sensor is bad. While your car is running unplug your mass flow sensor. if the car keeps running its bad. if your car dies your MAF is doing its job..

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