MAF Sensor Symptoms

Twice during the last two weeks, my 2005 Buick century abruptly stopped running while at cruising speed. I was able to restart it with no problem. My mechanic retrieved a troubleshooting code P0102, Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Low Input. Could a faulty MAF sensor cause the engine to stop running? Or, should I look elsewhere?


No, the stalling problem is likely whatever’s making the MAF signal problematic. The MAF measures the volume flow rate of air into the engine, and the computer uses that as its primary input to determine how much fuel to inject for the driving condition. Most MAF’s work by passing the intake airflow over a heated wire. The faster the airflow the cooler the wire’s temperature, which is the principle it uses to measure the airflow volume rate. The input is the temperature of the wire I believe, so either that sensor has failed (not super-likely) , there’s a problem with the connection between the sensor and the drivetrain computer, or the sensor or wire is dirty, coated with grime. A shop should be able to inspect it and get a good idea what’s wrong. Likely nothing serious, but it must be fixed for the engine to run well again.

A couple of other possibilities might be the crank sensor or even the fuel pump. Fuel pumps can fail outright or even intermittently; working fine for a bit, stopping, and then working fine again right afterwards.

I tend to suspect something like those 2 things rather than the MAF but without failed car in hand that is only a guess.


I had the fuel pump replaced in Oct 2020, about 41,500 miles ago. How long do they typically last?

Until they fail.

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Offhand, the pump should still be good at 41k miles but that is not etched in stone. The make of the pump, whether it’s battling a partially clogged fuel filter, and other factors affect the life of the pump.

Another factor could be the wire connector that attaches to the pump. With age and electrical current the plug can burn which then leads to a poor electrical connection. Hopefully this was checked during the pump replacement.

I’m afraid I am not of much help without knowing what is missing (fuel/spark/etc) when the engine dies. I don’t like guessing at all due to the number of possibilities, but since I am then I might take a stab at the crank sensor rather than the MAF.
The crank sensor can fail or become intermittent without setting a trouble code.

Ignore anything else.

Always start with the hard code set by the computer.