Signs that Your Volkswagen’s MAF Sensor is Not Working

Signs that Your Volkswagen’s MAF Sensor is Not Working

Your Volkswagen’s Mass Airflow sensor (or MAF sensor) is essential to ensuring the healthy function of your VW’s engine. As MAF sensors can vary between manufacturers and even between make and model, it is important to make sure only a Volkswagen specialist diagnoses any issues with your car. They will know the perfect way to repair them. The MAF sensor will usually last the entire lifespan of a vehicle, but factors such as damage or malfunctioning of the MAF sensor can cut this short, meaning you will need to seek repairs. Let's take a closer look at the MAF sensor as well as learn the signs that this part may not be working properly.

The Importance of the MAF Sensor in your Volkswagen

In the grand scheme of things, the MAF sensor is a small part under the hood of your car, but it has a big role to play. It is in charge of measuring the correct airflow into your engine, which helps ensure the perfect air/fuel mixture needed for ignition. It takes these measurements using a hot wire and will relay its data to your VW’s onboard computer. The computer is able to analyze this information and instruct the fuel injection system to add the perfect amount of fuel to the engine.

When the MAF sensor starts to fail, however, you can begin to notice some worrying signs. It is essential that you don’t bury your head in the sand when experiencing these signs, as the longer the problem is left unrepaired, the more damage it can cause to your Volkswagen.

Signs your MAF Sensor is in Trouble

The MAF sensor has a crucial role to play in the day-to-day running of your Volkswagen. If the MAF sensor starts to fail or stops working, then you will experience noticeable symptoms that will be hard to ignore. Listed below are the most common signs of MAF failure that Volkswagen drivers experience.

Poor Fuel Economy

Because your engine needs to have the perfect balance of air and fuel inside the combustion chamber to perform optimally, when the MAF sensor fails, you are going to notice you need to head to the pumps more often.


Stalling or misfires can be caused when the engine receives the incorrect ratio of air and fuel, making fuel combustion a challenge. Frequent stalling or misfires put strain on your engine and can lead to premature part wear and deterioration of your engines overall function. Don’t let the problem continue, especially if you notice the illumination of the check engine light.

Low Power

As Volkswagen’s can be high-performance cars, you will likely notice a drop in engine power as a result of a failing MAF sensor. This is because the engine isn’t receiving the right mix or air and fuel to work at maximum power, so expect acceleration to feel sluggish and in general a limply performing engine.

Rough Idling

When idling at an intersection or in traffic, if you notice that your car is juddering or producing more noise than normal, then you are experiencing what is known as rough idling. Rough idling can be caused by many parts other than your MAF sensor, so you will need to bring your car to the shop for diagnostic work.

Starting or Ignition Trouble

Volkswagens are well-known within the motoring community for being some of the most reliable and consistent cars on the road. However, MAF failure can ruin this reputation due to the poor air/fuel ratio, making your car hard to start and probably nearly impossible to ignite on cold days. This is likely caused by lean misfire, as your engine cannot ignite the lean mixture provided during winter days.

Import Motorworx

Residents of Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA should make Import Motorworx their next stop when it is time for servicing or part repair. We are your local Volkswagen experts. We also have experience working with Audi, Fiat, Jaguar, Mercedes, Mini, Land Rover, and Porsche. We are so confident in our excellent workmanship, that we offer a 24-month/24,000 mile warranty as standard. Let us become your trusted Volkswagen repair and maintenance shop.

Written by Import MotorWorx