When driving around town, your family car engine needs clean air to burn the fuel – and it needs a lot. In fact, a typical vehicle needs about 216,000 gallons of air for every tank of gas.
All that air passes through a filter that catches the dust and dirt. Eventually the filter gets completely full. Because the filter can only hold so much, dirt starts getting through. This dirty air passes through the mass airflow sensor, and starts to accumulate on the delicate sensor element. The mass air flow sensor measures how much air is getting into your engine. When the airflow reading is incorrect, your family car engine doesn’t get the proper amount of fuel. It runs rough and doesn’t perform as well as it should.