OBD-II Trouble Codes

P0102 Code: Mass Air Flow (MAF) Circuit Low

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Lately, you’ve been noticing that your car stalls or runs rougher than before. You eventually decide to use an OBD-II scanner to help you determine whether there’s an issue, and it displays the trouble code P0102. 

What does this mean and what can you do to fix it? Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you recognize the symptoms and possible causes of this error code—along with tips for proper diagnosis and repair. 

What Does the P0102 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0102 stands for “Mass Air Flow (MAF) Circuit Low.” The code is set when the powertrain control module (PCM)—your car’s primary computer—perceives a problem with the mass airflow (MAF) sensor’s performance. 

Catalytic converter of a modern car
A faulty MAF sensor can damage other parts of your vehicle, such as the catalytic converter.

The MAF sensor is mounted inside the engine air intake downstream of the air filter. It is used to measure the temperature and, therefore, the density and amount of air entering the engine.  

The MAF generates a signal that the PCM uses as a primary input for determining fuel control, and code P0102 is set when the PCM determines that this signal is below specification for a certain amount of time. 

What are the Possible Causes of the P0102 Code?

Listed below are some of the most common issues that can cause your vehicle’s PCM to store the code P0102:

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0102 Code?

You may observe one or more of the following signs with engine code P0102: 

How to Diagnose the P0102 Code

Code P0102 isn’t always caused by a bad MAF sensor. There are other factors that may come into play with this specific error code. 

But don’t be alarmed—there are a lot of resources out there that can help you diagnose and manage this error code. Here are some videos that will help you understand and properly perform a diagnosis: 

How to Fix the P0102 Code

Since the code P0102 points to a problem with the MAF sensor, you may think that replacement would be the only answer—but that’s not always the case. 

There are a variety of possible causes, as outlined above, which means there are different avenues of repair. You’ll need to diagnose the code accurately to find out the underlying cause before performing any necessary repairs. 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to a P0102 code, or any other codes, for that matter—but once you’ve properly diagnosed the issue, you should be able to find the right fix with the help of reputable online automotive guides. You can also obtain Haynes and Chilton repair manuals, which would be very helpful if you’re serious about automotive DIY.

Also, keep in mind that all vehicles are different, so when troubleshooting and fixing diagnostic trouble codes, make sure to consult the factory repair information for your application. 

Other Notes about P0102

Is it safe to drive with a P0102 code? While you may technically still be able to drive when a  P0102 code is set, you should not do so for long. An issue with the MAF sensor can cause your car to stall or run poorly—and that can be dangerous. 

What’s more, a faulty MAF sensor can damage other parts of your vehicle, such as the catalytic converter.

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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