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    Thread: Help me! Replaced MAF Sensor and still runs like CRAP!

    1. 09-27-2011 12:25 PM #1
      To make a very very long story short.... I believe I'm close to the end of the very long road of getting my car into decent running order. At one point I had about 9 different codes and I have been slowly fixing each problem. So here is the jist of it all: I'm a girl with a VW because I thought it was cute and got good gas mileage vs. my SUV. My bf is a diesel mechanic that pretty much dreads working on my car! So that leaves me to do all the research and ordering of parts Yippee! I refuse to send it to a dealer or shop that will charge me stupid amounts of $ when I live with a darn mechanic. So here is what I can remember that we have replaced:
      02 sensor after the cat
      Welded the flex pipe
      Replaced coolant flange and o ring
      Engine speed sensor
      Coil pack Wire Harness
      MAF Sensor

      So now I am left with a MAF code, Coolant system failure code, and I one more I believe regarding the engine speed.
      The car runs like complete crap! Forgive me if my terminology is off but it bucks and sputters at an idle, and most times will stall out. If I hit the gas a lot of times it doesn't respond at all, or is very delayed. I got to the point where I unplugged the MAF and it does run better but the traction control light comes on and it shifts super hard to the point that I feel like my trans will fall out the bottom of my car! So I ordered a new MAF and put it in and no change! In fact I think its worse! Yesterday it got to the point where every time I pushed on the gas it stalled out. So I again unplugged the MAF and drove home with it shifting hard and hoping my trans doesn't fall out!

      So clearly the problem has to do with my MAF sensor, but I have replaced it already. Can the plug to the sensor go bad? Anyone know what that is called so I can look into purchasing a new one. I also have a new coolant temp sensor I ordered to see if that fixes my coolant system code; if not I guess I will be ordering a thermostat. Could the coolant system code have anything to do with the way it is running? I'll put the new coolant temp sensor in today and update.

      Anyways I'm at a total loss, my bf wants to scrap the car and never wants to look at it again, and I can't go out a buy a new car just yet! If what I said above is unclear I'm sorry, just ask and I will try to explain better. But please someone..... Help me!
      Last edited by tmt969; 09-27-2011 at 03:35 PM.

    2. 09-27-2011 02:48 PM #2
      I guess I should add that it is a 2003 1.8t with just over 150,000 miles.

    3. Semi-n00b
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      09-27-2011 05:28 PM #3
      I had the same problem with my car and in the end it turned out to be my cold air intake. I replaced my MAF the first time and figured out it was an airflow issue when it kept happening, so when i changed out my intake i was good money, not sure if that helps.
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      09-27-2011 06:01 PM #4
      might want to start by verifying you put the right maf in the car. Compare part numbers and maybe call a dealer with your vin so they can look it up. Usually a coolant malfunction fault points to a thermostat that is opening too quickly or sticking open as long as the car is not overheating. If you have the ability, please post the third fault code and description.
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    5. 09-27-2011 08:51 PM #5
      Unplug the maf, How does it run then?
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    6. 09-28-2011 07:11 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by DaWookie View Post
      I had the same problem with my car and in the end it turned out to be my cold air intake. I replaced my MAF the first time and figured out it was an airflow issue when it kept happening, so when i changed out my intake i was good money, not sure if that helps.
      I do know my bf put an after market intake on it years ago. Maybe I'll get him to try the stock one. Thanks! I hope its that simple but somehow I doubt it.

    7. 09-28-2011 07:15 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by AmIdYfReAk View Post
      Unplug the maf, How does it run then?
      I would say it runs better but the traction control light comes on and it slams through gears. To the point that it chirps the tires. I have getting around that way for two days. I can't imagine that is great on my trans.

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      09-28-2011 08:37 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by tmt969 View Post
      I would say it runs better but the traction control light comes on and it slams through gears. To the point that it chirps the tires. I have getting around that way for two days. I can't imagine that is great on my trans.
      that's because the maf is an important load signal input to the tcm.
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    9. 09-28-2011 09:02 AM #9
      Tcm? Sorry Idk what that is or stands for.

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      09-28-2011 09:48 AM #10
      Transmission Control Module

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      09-28-2011 11:42 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by shipoopi View Post
      Transmission Control Module
      this
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      09-28-2011 02:44 PM #12
      ok i will tell you how to fix it

      replace the CTS (coolant temp sensor) that will help with the coolant code yours should be green if its black its way out dated.

      Then

      the reason the car runs better with the maf unplugged is bc you have a vacuum leak. the 1.8t is notorious for them... its ok once you get them fixed and quite realible yours at the moment is just a little tired

      follow this guide i made, should be a walk in park for mr diesel tech
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2692757

      also check the PCV hose that comes off the valve cover its a retarded looking Y it splits a lot of the time
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      09-28-2011 03:12 PM #13
      could you please post the exact faults that are in the system now?
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    14. 09-28-2011 05:11 PM #14
      I replaced the CTS last night with no improvements. Also, the Y vacume hose thingy was replaced about a month ago. I will see if my bf can use that method to check for more leaks. Are there common leak spots on this motor? Like that funky Y thing.

      Also, a mechanic friend seems to think the MAF I got off line is not correct, or a faulty part. I may try to send it back and go to a relyable local person for one. Called the dealer by me and they want $244.00. Called RPM in Stanhope, NJ they will give me the same part for $149.00. Kind of a no brainer to me.

    15. 09-28-2011 05:13 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Jayj View Post
      could you please post the exact faults that are in the system now?
      I can't get them at least until tomorrow. The scaner I have only reads generic codes, I will borrow my friend's vw scanner tomorrow.

    16. 01-06-2015 02:58 AM #16
      I am new to Vw's but i have a 2002 golf Gti and i just replaced the maf sensor in the car. Reading the forums before i read that my maf sensor needed to be changed because around 2000 to 3000 rpm's my car would dogg out a little and cut out half way through the turbo. I finally got a new maf sensor and plugged it in and then the car dogged alot more. Is this because the maf sensor needs to adjust to my ecu or does it smoothen out over a certain amount of miles driven for the ecu to know that it has a new computer in it? help please! thanks so much!

    17. 01-06-2015 04:36 PM #17
      first of all you'd have been better off making a new thread, and probably still should.

      This doesn't sound like a MAF issue.

      Is your check engine light on? If so, get it scanned and post the results. If not, and you still have these issues, unplug the MAF while the car is running and report back how the car runs after unplugging the MAF. It is safe to drive this way, but not recommended for long periods, as it forces the engine to run overly rich, and you will eventually foul spark plugs and kill the catalytic converter.

      If you have no change, you are likely looking at a bad crank sensor, but you should also do a vacuum leak check and compression test before replacing the part.

      These are all very common diagnostics.
      I'm never too old to do stupid things, they just won't be the same stupid things I did 10 years ago.

    18. 01-07-2015 02:31 PM #18
      Okay thank you very much i will check the engine light today and report back.

    19. Moderator groggory's Avatar
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      01-07-2015 03:06 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by tmt969 View Post
      I replaced the CTS last night with no improvements. Also, the Y vacume hose thingy was replaced about a month ago. I will see if my bf can use that method to check for more leaks. Are there common leak spots on this motor? Like that funky Y thing.

      Also, a mechanic friend seems to think the MAF I got off line is not correct, or a faulty part. I may try to send it back and go to a relyable local person for one. Called the dealer by me and they want $244.00. Called RPM in Stanhope, NJ they will give me the same part for $149.00. Kind of a no brainer to me.
      If the maf you got is an OEM maf, they come with a 1 year warranty if you purchased through a valid source. fyi.
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      01-07-2015 05:03 PM #20
      Have you tried inspecting and cleaning the TPS?

    21. 01-08-2015 02:39 AM #21
      So i checked the engine light sensir and i came out with the code p0171

    22. 01-08-2015 02:41 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by rstolz View Post
      first of all you'd have been better off making a new thread, and probably still should.

      This doesn't sound like a MAF issue.

      Is your check engine light on? If so, get it scanned and post the results. If not, and you still have these issues, unplug the MAF while the car is running and report back how the car runs after unplugging the MAF. It is safe to drive this way, but not recommended for long periods, as it forces the engine to run overly rich, and you will eventually foul spark plugs and kill the catalytic converter.

      If you have no change, you are likely looking at a bad crank sensor, but you should also do a vacuum leak check and compression test before replacing the part.

      These are all very common diagnostics.
      P0171 was the code i got after checking the engine light.

    23. 01-09-2015 10:47 AM #23
      That's a lean code. 90% chance you're running lean because you have a vacuum leak. Check the FAQ for how to do vacuum leak tests.
      I'm never too old to do stupid things, they just won't be the same stupid things I did 10 years ago.

    24. 01-09-2015 03:57 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by rstolz View Post
      That's a lean code. 90% chance you're running lean because you have a vacuum leak. Check the FAQ for how to do vacuum leak tests.
      Thank you very much. I did have a vacuum leak. I need to post a picture and i will show you how the breather hose was all shredded up and i have to replace the whole hose. I have to go to o rielly and replace the whole thing.

    25. Moderator groggory's Avatar
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      01-09-2015 04:15 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by slammedgti2 View Post
      Thank you very much. I did have a vacuum leak. I need to post a picture and i will show you how the breather hose was all shredded up and i have to replace the whole hose. I have to go to o rielly and replace the whole thing.
      The crankcase breather hose and related parts fall apart on these cars. Assume around 100k miles out of them and then the whole PCV system will be dead.

      I recommend replacing it all with the 034 motorsports silicone replacement parts plus an OEM PCV valve.
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