The 3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am comes equipped with a mass air flow (MAF) sensor. It's a key component of the fuel injection system and one that can cause quite a bit of mayhem when it fails.
In this article, I'm gonna' answer the most commonly asked MAF sensor questions. I've also included the link to the MAF sensor test tutorial you'll need to test it.
Contents of this tutorial:
- What Does A MAF Sensor Do?
- What Happens When A MAF Sensor Goes Bad?
- What Problems Can A Bad MAF Sensor Cause?
- How Can You Tell If A MAF Sensor Is Bad?
- How Can I Find Out If The MAF Sensor Is Bad?
- Can I Drive My Car With A Bad MAF Sensor?
- Where Can I Buy The MAF Sensor?
- More 3.3L Pontiac Grand Am Tutorials.
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: El Sensor MAF ¿Qué Es Y Para Que Sirve? (1992-1993 3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am: 1992, 1993.
What Does A MAF Sensor Do?
In a nutshell, the mass airflow sensor is tasked with measuring the amount of air entering the engine.
The MAF sensor is installed right before the throttle plate. In this location, it is able to easily measure the amount of air entering the engine as you step on or step off the accelerator pedal.
What Happens When A MAF Sensor Goes Bad?
When the mass air flow sensor fails, your Pontiac Grand Am's fuel injection computer cannot calculate the correct amount of fuel to inject into the engine.
This will cause engine performance, driveability, and emissions problems.
In the next section, you'll find a list of symptoms you'll see when the MAF sensor fails in your 3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am.
What Problems Can A Bad MAF Sensor Cause?
A bad mass air flow sensor will cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bad gas mileage.
- Lack of power.
- Black smoke coming out of the tailpipe.
- Check engine light is illuminated by the following MAF sensor trouble code:
- Code 34: Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor.
- Rough idle.
- The engine may start and immediately stall.
- Extended engine cranking (the engine has to be cranked a long time for it to start).
- The engine may not start.
How Can You Tell If A MAF Sensor Is Bad?
Testing the MAF sensor is the surest way to find out if it has failed and is the cause of the engine performance or drivability problem you're currently experiencing.
In the next section, I'll explain the MAF sensor test.
How Can I Find Out If The MAF Sensor Is Bad?
To find out if the MAF sensor is bad or not, requires a simple diagnostic test. The cool thing is that the MAF sensor test does not require any expensive diagnostic tools since it can be done with a multimeter.
The test involves the following:
- Checking for a MAF sensor trouble code with a code reader or scan tool.
- Making sure that the MAF sensor is receiving 12 Volts and Ground.
- Checking that the MAF Hertz frequency signal increases/decreases as the engine is accelerated/decelerated.
If the MAF Hertz frequency signal does not increase/decrease as you accelerate/decelerate the engine, then you can conclude that your 3.3L Pontiac Grand Am's MAF sensor is bad and needs to be replaced.
Testing the mass airflow sensor is something that you can do without having to take it to an automotive repair shop.
I've written a tutorial on how to test it with a multimeter, you can find that tutorial here:
Can I Drive My Car With A Bad MAF Sensor?
Depending on the severity of the symptoms the bad MAF sensor is causing, you may not be able to safely drive the vehicle.
Even if it's possible to drive your car (with a bad mass air flow sensor), you should avoid doing so.
Where Can I Buy The MAF Sensor?
The following links will help you to comparison shop for a known automotive name-brand MAF sensor (no knock-offs) for your 1992-1993 3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am:
More 3.3L Pontiac Grand Am Tutorials
You can find a complete list of 3.3L Pontiac Grand Am tutorials in this index:
Here's a small sample of the tutorials you'll find in the index:
- How To Test Engine Compression Test (3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am).
- How To Test A Blown Head Gasket (3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am).
- How To Test The Throttle Position Sensor (3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am).
- How To Test The MAF Sensor (3.3L V6 Pontiac Grand Am).
If this info really saved the day, buy me a beer!