MAF Sensors Purpose
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, MAF Sensors Purpose in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; What exactly is the function of the MAF sensor ? Does it wire straight to the the computer or does ...
  1. #1
    Leon3 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Question MAF Sensors Purpose

    What exactly is the function of the MAF sensor ? Does it wire straight to the the computer or does it send signals to another car conponent ? Lastly how would its malfunction cause a miss on 246 ? Just curious but serious.

    Thanks in advance

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  3. #2
    wildrage is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    The Mass Airflow Sensor meters the air coming into the engine in order to determine the fuel/air ratio. When they go bad or are dirty they generally cause rough idling, sluggish acceleration, or missfiring on all or random cylinders. If you are consistantly getting a miss on a particular cylinder you should look more towards the plug or coil/wire (depending on your year).

  4. #3
    Cadi Cat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    I have a question. What's the difference between the Mass Air-Flow Sensor vs the Mass Air Sensor?

  5. #4
    Warez is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadi Cat View Post
    I have a question. What's the difference between the Mass Air-Flow Sensor vs the Mass Air Sensor?
    Same thing.

  6. #5
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    The MAF or "Mass Air Flow" sensor measures the actual volume of air entering the engine for combustion.

    Basically a sense wire is placed in the flow of air and using one of a couple methods a small processor calculates the airflow and sends a signal back to the engine controller. The ECM then uses other sensors to calculate the required amount of fuel needed for the conditions being measured by things like the MAP (intake pressure) sensor, engine coolant temperature, calculated load, current gear selection, throttle position, etc...

    What happens typically on Catera is that when the MAF fails it will give false readings.
    If the MAF is lying to the ECM the ECM will think it is getting more or less air than it actually is, this causes an imbalance in the air/fuel ratio and the engine runs lean or rich. Sometimes this will have more of an effect on one bank or the other with that engine.
    I have seen big issues with failing MAF sensors on Catera that cause all sorts of misfires and drivability problems.

    Some manufacturers have slightly different names for sensors but GM has always called it a MAF sensor.

  7. #6
    Army_MP_From_MO's Avatar
    Army_MP_From_MO is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    I love it when a Cadillac Technician visits our threads.

  8. #7
    pghjoe is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    How difficult is this part to change on your own???

  9. #8
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    Most MAF sensors are fairly easy to replace.
    Some just have two hose clamps holding them in place in the air stream, some are 2 or three screws holding them on an assembly.
    Some older ones are built into the airbox (and some new ones too).

    Catera has one that is fairly easy to access, it is over to the right side of the car in the ductwork.
    Pretty easy to replace once you get some of the ductwork out of the way.

  10. #9
    pghjoe is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    How would someone get information on how to change this and other parts of the car?

  11. #10
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    A factory service manual "FSM" is a good place to start, although sometimes it is easier to figure it out yourself than it is to look it up in the manual.

    I think there might be some information scattered about the forums, using the "search" function might get you some good results.
    The FAQ often has a lot of good info in it although not sure about Catera stuff.
    If all else fails just start a post and ask.

    If you get the part and look at it and then look at your car to find it you should be able to see how it is installed and pretty much see how you can change it out.
    If you still have problems most independent shops would be willing to toss parts on for a few bucks but don't look to them to guarantee that it will fix the problem.

  12. #11
    pghjoe is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    Any suggestions on where to buy one...pretty expensive.

  13. #12
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by pghjoe View Post
    Any suggestions on where to buy one...pretty expensive.
    RockAuto
    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php

    ACDELCO Part # 213809 {replaces 93171760 #09193533, 90528435} SENSOR,MASS AIRFLOW $142.79

    AIRTEX Part # 5S2635 SENSOR,MASS AIRFLOW $145.79


  14. #13
    Leon3 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    When my cat was running rough , I disconnected the connector clip to the maf sensor and it idles and runs great. Picked up a sensor at the salvage yard, have yet to put it on...doesn't look like its in the best shape. I want my chack engine light off. Why am I running running so well and are there any longterm damage that coild occur running this way

  15. #14
    pghjoe is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    The MAF sensors I find on Rock for a 1997 Catera are between $300-500.
    Am I looking at the wrong part?

  16. #15
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: MAF Sensors Purpose

    Quote Originally Posted by pghjoe View Post
    The MAF sensors I find on Rock for a 1997 Catera are between $300-500.
    Am I looking at the wrong part?
    You didn't say what model year so I chose 2001. I didn't know there was a difference in MAFSs. Definitely price I guess. Can anyone tell us what the difference is?

    Elvin


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