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Why Does a Dirty MAF Sensor Make Black Exhaust Flow Out of the Tailpipe?

A dirty mass airflow sensor can indirectly cause black exhaust to flow out of the tailpipe because the engine is burning too much fuel. Horizon Auto Center advises that the MAF sensor is responsible for tracking incoming air into the engine. It gives this information to your automobile’s main computer chip, the engine control module (ECM). If the sensor is dirty and the data is incorrect, the ECM may add fuel to the combustion chamber when it doesn’t actually need it.

Acceleration Trouble

When you see the black exhaust flowing out of the tailpipe, this is just one sign that you have a dirty MAF sensor underneath the hood. Another sign is problems accelerating your vehicle. In this case, rather than placing too much fuel into the combustion chamber, the ECM has placed too much air in the chamber. Consequently, your engine is fuel-starved and will struggle to produce power.

Engine Idling Roughly

This fuel starvation will also cause your engine to idle roughly when you are sitting at an idle. If the engine is really struggling, it may stall. Again, the dirty MAF sensor has relayed incorrect air inflow data to the ECM. This problem will continue until you have the MAF sensor cleaned.

Performance Trouble

The excess air in the engine can also cause it to sputter when you are driving at higher speeds. The reason why is the same: fuel starvation. If the ECM has increased the fuel level unnecessarily and you have black exhaust smoke flowing out of the tailpipe, your engine may also surge sporadically.

Reduced Fuel Economy

Unfortunately, the only way your automobile is going to get the best gas mileage it can get is if the engine is running efficiently. If the MAF sensor is creating problems with the ECM, your engine is going to run inefficiently and you will see a reduction in fuel economy.

Problems With Ignition

You may also have problems with your vehicle’s ignition. There needs to be the right amount of air and fuel in the combustion chamber in order for the spark plugs to ignite them with a spark. If the engine is in a fuel-starved state, your automobile will have difficulty firing up. The same is true if the engine is flooded with fuel. This imbalance can cause ignition problems.

Finally, Horizon Auto Center in Rockwall, TX, advises that you may end up with an illuminated check engine light if the MAF sensor needs to be cleaned. Call us today to schedule a service appointment for your automobile.

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