Shaking And Lunging While Driving? It May Be The Air Sensor

17 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If your trips have become shaky, wobbly adventures that unsettle everyone in the car, you may have a big problem that only gets more expensive as time goes by. A lot of car shaking issues are caused by fuel problems or balance issues under the hood, but they go ignored far too often. Although there may be many problems, the mass air sensor can contribute to a few different issues. Keep reading to understand some engine problems and how the mass air flow sensor factors in. 

Combustion Problems Can Damage The Engine

One car-wobbling conundrum comes from the way that the internal combustion engine works. Without getting too technical, your vehicle is propelled by a series of small, controlled explosions. These explosions move pistons up and down, which rotates different parts and creates motion with your engine.

The key phrase is controlled explosion. The right type of fuel is needed, but you also need clean fuel, a clean path for the fuel, clean air and the right amount of air. Many cars have what is called a mass air flow sensor, which regulates the amount of oxygen that goes into the fuel system for generating an explosion.

Fuel octane (a number that is made more simple by terms such as Regular, Super or Premium) may look uniform on the gas station labels, but the liquid fuel can have small differences in the way that it burns. It's a violent process that can't be perfectly contained, but the mass air flow sensor compensates by adding in the right amount of air for the reaction that is happening.

The mass air flow sensor can be damaged by heat, impact (such as being in an accident), normal wear and tear or problems with the car's computer that manages the air flow sensor. A mechanic can test this by unplugging the sensor. Your car will still drive without it, but the fuel may be wasted and your engine may fail from wear and tear at a faster rate.

Damage Over Time Is Still Expensive

Some parts can scrape against each other or put too much stress on the nuts and bolts that hold them together.

With the internal combustion engine, explosions that are not at a regularly regulated intensity may damage the piston chambers (called cylinders) over time. If you're getting too much or too little air, you may have different types of residue depending on the problem. Excessive heavy pollutants in some fuels may settle in the fuel line and eventually make the fuel reach the engine slower, just as a kitchen sink's pipe with slight clogging may drain slower.

Too much of a burn may leave soot or ash, which can grind away against parts of the fuel line. These are all parts that may need more cleaning that regular maintenance offers, and may need to be replaced more often. Instead of getting replacements and emergency repairs, contact a mechanic to take care of the issue as soon as you notice it.