5 Symptoms of a Bad MAP Sensor in Your Car

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The MAP sensor, also known as the Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor, is a necessary component of your vehicle’s fuel injection system. As you may know, the intake manifold is responsible for distributing the air and fuel mixture from the internal combustion chamber into each cylinder. The MAP sensor helps the Powertrain Control Module figure out how much of the mixture should be injected into these cylinders. That way, the engine’s performance will continue running smoothly without any problems or setbacks.

The Top 5 Bad Symptoms

The MAP sensor should remain functional for a very long time. However, the time will eventually come when the MAP sensor does malfunction because of damage or wear. Once that happens, there will be one or more recognizable symptoms that will pop up and catch you by surprise. If you don’t replace the MAP sensor promptly, the symptoms will only get worse. Then you could be left with even bigger problems that will cost more money to fix.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad MAP sensor which you can easily recognize.

Low Fuel Economy – With a bad MAP sensor, you will be consuming a lot more gasoline than you normally do. This means that you’ll be heading to the gas station more often and filling your tank with gas. As a result, you’ll be spending more money on gasoline than you ever did before. Although there are many reasons why this could be happening, consider one reason to be a bad MAP sensor.

High Level of Emissions – If too much fuel is being injected into the cylinders, then it will cause more hydrocarbons to be released through the tailpipe and go into the environment. You won’t even realize this is happening until you bring your vehicle for an emissions test. Many states require car owners to get emissions testing every 6 or 12 months. If your vehicle fails the emissions test, then have a mechanic look at your vehicle to see if the MAP sensor is to blame.

Weak Engine Performance – A bad MAP sensor can cause a lot of strange symptoms. While a bad fuel economy is one of those symptoms, sometimes a better fuel economy is a symptom too. However, you will experience a much weaker engine in the process. If a low amount of pressure in the intake manifold is wrongfully detected, the Powertrain Control Module will treat this as a smaller load for the engine. This will cause the engine to be injected with less fuel. Once this happens, the engine won’t be so powerful anymore. Meanwhile, you’ll be putting higher demands on the engine than it can tolerate.

Read also: 5 Causes of Engine ECU Failure or Not Working Properly

Strange Smell – A bad MAP sensor will cause an improper amount of fuel and air to be mixed together in the combustion chamber. Sometimes there will be too much fuel mixed in there while other times, there will be too little fuel mixed in there. This inadequate fuel mixture will cause a very strange gas smell to form. It should be noticeable after the engine has been running for a couple of minutes.

Acceleration Issues – When you are driving your vehicle and stepping on the gas pedal, you may notice the vehicle jerking or hesitating as you accelerate faster. In worse situations, the vehicle will die altogether if you continue to give it gas under these conditions. The best thing to do is bring your vehicle into the auto shop as soon as you notice any kind of jerking or hesitating like this. You don’t want to take the chance of it getting any worse because it could damage your engine or cause you to get stranded somewhere unpleasant.

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