Porsches are cars that exude elegance, as well as classic lines, and deluxe features. Representing hardy, quality, German engineering made stylish, the Porsche brand is synonymous with luxury and an incredible driving experience. Porsche cars are prized by their owners, and if you are an owner yourself, or looking to buy, knowing some of the key mechanical features of this incredible make of car and their importance is essential knowledge. In this article we’ll be unpacking why the MAF sensor is important for the smooth running of a Porsche.
What is a MAF Sensor?
Standing for Mass Air Flow, an MAF sensor monitors how much air is entering the vehicles engine, informing the cars computer of this amount. Typically looking like a silver cylinder with a black box on top, the information the MAF feeds back to the computer informs how much fuel is injected into the cylinders, thus creating the correct balance between fuel and air within the engine.
The most common type of MAF sensor is known as a ‘hot-wire’ sensor. This is because it utilises a hot wire to measure the rate of airflow by measuring how much current is needed to keep the wire heated at a steady 90 degrees. This gives the vehicle's computer a measurement of the mass of air currently entering the engine.
Why is a MAF Sensor Important?
There are a whole host of reasons why a MAF sensor is so important to the smooth running of your Porsche. Understanding these reasons, and in turn knowing what to look out for in the case of MAF failure, will help ensure your precious car needs no emergency trips to the shop. This is by no means represents an exhaustive list, and different models may have unique quirks to be mindful of, but in general, below are the main reasons why a MAF sensor is so important.
When a car comes to a halt at an intersection, or a set of lights, for example, the MAF sensor is able to help the cars’ computer adjust the amount of fuel to air ratio to account for this, which in turn allows your car to be idle with just a gentle hum of the motor. A rough idle however is when, at a halt, a car judders and rumbles. This can be a sign of a MAF issue, as the computer is not being fed the correct information and is more or less trying to achieve the correct ratio on guesswork. As Porsches are known for their incredibly smooth drive, for many owners, having a Porsche that is anything but, becomes a serious issue.
Lowered Fuel Economy
This can constitute a contentious issue for Porsche drivers, who are used to their car being at the top level in all aspects of its performance. When a Porsche isn't performing to the best MPG it can, it becomes an irritating pet peeve. One of the key pieces of equipment in ensuring great fuel economy is the MAF sensor, as it informs and dictates how much fuel is needed for the engine to operate at the optimum level. While lowered fuel economy can be caused by multiple other factors, if the MAF sensor isn’t performing properly you’re bound to notice a drop in the MPG that can be achieved.
Probably the most concerning feature for a vehicle thats MAF sensor isn’t performing properly, is how temperamental it may become to drive. As the MAF sensor is crucial for properly maintaining the engine, drivers may face all manner of issues, such as stopping, stalling, and most worryingly sudden jerking when the speed is increased. For a luxury car such as a Porsche which is known for its unbelievably smooth and easy drive, such unpredictability simply is unacceptable, and should be rectified by a trained mechanic as soon as possible.
Maintaining and Repairing the MAF Sensor
Any respectable driver knows that proper checks and scheduled maintenance is the key to keeping any vehicle issue free. If your Porsche is due a check up, or your concerned the MAF sensor may need to be looked into, then it's best to take your car to a Porsche specialist, to ensure the best results.
Luckily, if you’re in or around the Tucson, Arizona area, then Group One Motorwerks is your one stop shop for all things Porsche, and German car manufacturing related. With trained, specialist mechanics, your prized possession couldn’t be in safer hands.
* Red Porsche 911 GTS Carrera image credit goes to: Neydtstock.