K&N Reveals Mass Air Flow Sensor Urban Myths
There are four words from a mechanic that should trigger a red flag for
consumers, Mass Air Flow Sensor. A little knowledge about this “mystery” sensor
can save hundreds of dollars and protect car warranties.
If a mechanic or dealership claims excess oil from a K&N Engineering Lifetime
Air Filter caused a Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) failure, it’s not true. K&N has
researched, tested and devoted many hours to confirm the use of K&N Air Filters,
including over oiled air filters, will not cause a Mass Air Flow sensor failure
under any remotely normal driving conditions.
Oil does not come off K&N Filters. If a mechanic or dealership claims K&N
is the problem there has to be proof. K&N will often work with consumers to
recover money for repairs which legitimately should have been covered under
the vehicle’s warranty where warranty coverage would otherwise have been
K&N Engineering Mass Air Flow Testing
“We’ve tested Mass Air Flow sensors and discovered these parts are being
replaced when they don’t need to be,” said K&N Senior Lab Manager Rich Dwyer.
“Consumers are sometimes told readings from the Mass Air Flow sensor show it is
saturated with oil from a K&N Filter. This is not true. Consumers should ask to
see the Mass Air Sensor codes and/or get a second opinion.”
In a period where K&N sold more than 5 million filters, 52 sensors were
evaluated. Not one of these suspected MAF sensors sent in for laboratory
evaluation were shown to have failed because of contamination from K&N filter
oil. In fact, 28 sensors were in perfect operating condition. K&N helped those
consumers recover money for unnecessary parts and labor.
The other 24 sensors failed due to factors not related to K&N. There were traces
of silicone potting compound which is used in the manufacturing process of MAF sensors,
meaning the MAF sensor contaminated itself. There was also evidence of motor oil
contamination from blow-by; a condition where oil vapor from combustion is
re-circulated into the vehicle’s intake tract.
“A lot of dealerships do not have the ability to test MAF sensors,” said K&N
Vice President of Product Development and Engineering Steve Williams. “If you’re
going to diagnose something you should show whether it is at fault or not. What
they have is what we call the plug and play process. That is where they go
through and download some codes and guess. The consumer then gets hit with a
bill for components that were never a problem. K&N always tells people the
There is no silicone in K&N oil and testing has shown that MAF sensors
will operate normally after being immersed in K&N Filter oil.
K&N Engineering Research and Development Department
“Who is in a worse position than a consumer who has taken their car into a shop
and told this is what you have to do to get your car back on track?” asks K&N
CEO Steve Rogers. “Consumers have rights and information is power, no one needs
to be taken advantage of.”
K&N is also committed to working with its dealership network and notes that most
dealerships provide excellent service and fulfill car warranty obligations
without issue, argument or tardiness. K&N is also committed to communicating
with its customers and fully disclosing all information about this issue.
K&N encounters less than 200 dealership problems annually, which is very small
compared to the number of filters we sell annually (2,500,000), and we treat
each situation as if it were our own personal problem.
If you encounter a similar problem related to K&N Filters at your dealership,
contact us immediately and allow us to communicate with the dealership on your
behalf. K&N has had great success in working with dealerships to resolve these
types of issues on behalf of our customers. Many dealerships sell and service
K&N Air Filters and we encourage you to work with those dealerships.
“K&N wants to dispel a dealership myth that in some way problems with the
‘mystery’ sensor or Mass Air Flow sensor is tangled with K&N products,” said
Williams. “The average consumer does not have a prayer to be able to decided
what is true or not. K&N will stand behind our products and go to bat for our
For more information about MAF Sensors go to the K&N
Mass Air Flow Sensor
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the
dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.
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