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Air Flow Meters and Air Mass Sensors

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Air flow sensors are used on engines with multiport electronic fuel injection (EFI). This is because the amount of fuel delivered by an EFI system is controlled by a car computer which turns the fuel injectors on and off. The air flow sensor keeps the computer informed about how much air is being pulled into the engine past the throttle plates. This input along with information from other engine sensors allows the computer to calculate how much fuel is needed. The processor then increases or decreases injector duration (on time) to provide the correct air/fuel ratio. Air flow meter is used in some cars to measure the quantity of air going into the internal combustion engine. In the case of a petrol engine, the electronic control unit (ECU) then calculates how much fuel is needed to inject into the cylinder ports. In the diesel engine, the ECU meters the fuel through the injectors into the engines cylinders during the compression stroke. The vane (flap) type air flow meters actually measure air volume, whereas the later "hot wire" and "hot film" air mass meters measure speed of air flow. The flap type meter includes a spring which returns the internal flap to the initial position. Sometimes if the spring is tensioned too tightly, it can restrict the incoming air and it would cause the intake air speed to increase when not opened fully. Differential pressure is also used for air flow measurement purposes.

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