How to Trick a Mass Air Flow Sensor? Should You Do It?  

In different car communities, people are thinking about tricking the mass air flow sensors of their cars. So, lots of people are making research about tricking these sensors. And because of it, most people are searching for different kinds of applications by tricking the mass air flow sensors. Here we explain how to trick the mass air flow sensor in your car. And we explain how to do it properly. Also, we make some assessments on the mass air flow sensor tricking.

What is Mass Air Flow Sensor?

How to Trick a Mass Air Flow Sensor

Firstly, we need to start with the essentials. What is the mass airflow sensor? As you understand that the mass air flow sensor is a sensor that measures the mass air flow coming to your air intake and engine. How much air is coming into your engine is a very important parameter for modern vehicles.

This sensor measures this value and sends this information to the ECM or engine control unit system. The ECU system adjusts the optimum amount of fuel according to the mass air flow information. And your car works much more efficiently way without using too much fuel.

Internal combustion engines generally require a specific amount of air-fuel mixture that has a specific composition for optimum burning inside the engine. And the mass air flow sensor ad the oxygen sensor make sure that the engine cylinders are getting this amount of air-fuel mixture. And the most optimum burn of fuel takes place.

What is Tricking Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Why people are tricking the mass air flow sensor? What is the purpose behind it? This sensor helps the ECM system adjust the minimum amount of fuel that goes into your engine cylinders. And this makes your car spend much less fuel.

And some people or mechanics think that if you bypass the mass air flow sensor, you will get much more fuel inside your engine which will increase the engine’s power and performance. Because more fuel is coming inside your engines, right? So, if you trick your mass air flow sensor, you will increase the engine performance.

Is it True?

In theory, it is not true. Because, for more fuel, you need more air from the atmosphere inside your cylinders. Yes, you will send more fuel inside the engine cylinders. But what happens if the required amount of air does not go to the engine cylinders with the same proportion of the fuel going to the cylinders? So, the excess fuel will not burn and set to the atmosphere again through the exhaust system. And this excess fuel will cause black smoke to come from your tailpipe.

But, some mechanics are doing this to increase the total horsepower. Because for some car brands and models, tricking the mass air flow sensor increases the horsepower of the car. This effect is special for these cars in general. And because of it, tricking the mass air flow sensor is a common application that is made for specific cars. We do not give any brand and model here…

Downsides of Triciking Mass Air Flow Sensor

So, we can not say that tricking the mass air flow sensor is a very good idea for the health of your engine.

  • First of all, the ignition inside the cylinders does not take place in an ideal way. This can harm the fuel and other burning systems in your engine. And also the exhaust gases will not be in the optimum conditions which will deteriorate the exhaust systems such as catalytic converters.
  • On the other hand, the fuel consumption of your engine will be higher. Because the system does not adjust the best air-fuel mixture for optimum ignition. This is a very important thing to consider because the mileage will decrease.
  • There will be black fumes coming from your tailpipe. The main reason for this, there will be excess unburnt fuel inside the exhaust gases. And this will cause black fumes.
  • For some vehicles and models, you can feel engine performance decrease and misfires.

So, it is generally not a good idea to trick the mass air flow sensor in most o cases.

How to Trick a Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Despite that we do not recommend tricking the mass air flow sensor, we give some general ways to trick it.

The working principle of a mass air flow sensor is very simple. Two wires receive fresh air that comes to the engine. One wire is heated by an electric current. And the second wire is not heated. The second wire will be in the temperature of the outside air temperature. And the heated wire will be at a specific high temperature.

Once the air comes to these wires, the hot wire will cool down in a specific way. If it cools down very well, we can understand that there is a very high airflow. And the temperature difference between these wires will be very low. And if there is no high airflow, we understand that there is no high airflow inside the engine.

So, more electricity will be required to heat the hot wire if the airflow is very high. And the sensor converts this electricity to voltage and this voltage to an electronic sign. The sensor sends this sign to ECM to adjust the best fuel composition for the incoming air. This is the general working principle of the mass air flow sensor.

You just need to make the mass air flow sensor have a much higher reading than usual. What you should do is, you need to have a unique tube. The tube must be in the same shape as the sensor. You can use the copper tube for it.

You need to place it in the ignition sırce and it will heat up. This heating effect will trick the mass air flow sensor and send much higher readings to the ECM system. And the ECM system will provide a much higher amount of fuel.

General MAF Fails

If your MAF fails, it will not send the information about how much air going through the intake manifold.

Electrical Connections

The most common fail of the MAF is the faults in the electrical connections in general. If there are faults in these systems, the mass air flow sensor will not work properly. The problem can be with the battery connection and the ECU connection cables. You need to bring your car to an expert to make some examines to see the general problem of the cables.

If there is a problem with the connections, you just need to connect them better to the ports and sockets. And if you have a problem with cable connections, you need to change it with other cables.

According to the brand and model, the price of the cables can change. But in most cases, you will pay around $50-$100.

Damages and Faults

Also, your MAF system can be completely faulty or bad. You just need to change it with a new one. And the prices can vary according to the brand and model of your car. For example, if we think about the general prices for Toyota or Nissan, they will change to around $150-$250. And chancing cost with expertise will change around $50-$150.

What Happened with Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor?

There are different symptoms that you will feel and see if you have a damaged mass air flow sensor.

  • You will have trouble with teh acceleration. Because the engine and the fuel system is not working properly and in an optimised way.
  • The idle of your car will be rough. Misfired can happen. Because there is not enough air-fuel mixture inside the cylinders.
  • The fuel economy will decrease. The system will use much more fuel. And this will cause decreases in mileage.
  • Your car will expel black fumes through the exhaust. This is a very problematic issue for your car in general. The reason for the black fumes is the unburnt fuel take going through the exhaust system of your car.

Conclusion on How to Trick a Mass Air Flow Sensor

These are the general things that we can state about the mass air flow sensor application. If you are thinking about tricking the mass air flow sensor with the method that we explained, it is not a good idea to do it.

If you have any thoughts about this topic, please leave them below. Your precious feedbacks are very important to us.


How can I bypass the mass air flow sensor?

You just need to take the mass air flow sensor from its place and close the general holes on the intake manifold with the proper material. And your car will run without a mass air flow sensor.

Can you run a car without a mass air flow sensor?

Yes, you can run a car without a mass air flow sensor. But in general, it is not recommended to do. Because you can harm the other engine components and you may have very big problems with it. And also your check engine light will be on if you run it.

What will happen if you unplug the mass air flow sensor?

This change according to the brand and model of your car. Maybe the horsepower may increase. But the ECM system can not adjust the required amount of fuel for the mass air flow coming to the cylinders. And the mileage of your car will increase. And also, the performance of your engine can reduce.

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