Archive for January, 2018

MAF Sensor Failure in Porsche

Porsche vehicles are sought after because of their exceptional design and performance. When such brands don’t function the way drivers expect, it can be disappointing and concerning. Ongoing vehicle maintenance is the best way to combat failing parts and repair needs; however, even with the most diligent care, issues are bound to come up. Vehicle brands are each susceptible to their own uniquely common problems. For instance, common problems in certain Porsche models like the Boxster and Cayenne are typical and easily diagnosed and addressed by Porsche specialists.

Among Boxster and Cayenne models in particular, issues with the mass airflow (MAF) sensor have been frequently reported. The MAF sensor plays an integral role in engine functioning, and they work slightly differently in different types of vehicles. For instance, in electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines an intricate series of monitors, sensors, and computer control systems work in tandem with the MAF sensor to relay appropriate messages to the electronic control unit (ECU) which can adjust the amount of fuel being dispersed for proper combustion. MAF sensor failure is a complex issue, especially in Porsche models. Here is a little more information about your Porsche’s MAF sensor and how to detect and fix potential issues:

What is a MAF sensor?

A mass airflow sensor is a critical element of your engine, and your Porsche cannot run without it functioning well. The MAF sensor is responsible for determining the amount of air coming into the engine. As previously mentioned, it works in combination with the electronic control unit (ECU); after it measures the rate of airflow into the engine, it relays this information to the ECU which then determines how much fuel the engine needs in order to promote healthy combustion. When the MAF sensor begins to fail or function appropriately, you might notice some concerning symptoms that can turn into even more serious problems the longer the issue goes unaddressed.

Symptoms of a failing MAF sensor

The symptoms of a failing MAF sensor can be a result of a few different problems, such as fuel system issues. When you experience any of the following symptoms, you should bring your car to a Porsche specialist for an immediate inspection. Running rich or lean could indicate MAF sensor issues. Running rich means that your engine is utilizing too much fuel and not enough oxygen; running lean means that your engine is utilizing more air than fuel—both of which can cause serious damage to other parts of your vehicle. You might also notice lowered fuel economy, rough running and idling or even stalling when your MAF sensor begin failing.

How to fix a failing MAF sensor

The course of action that your automotive specialist takes will depend upon the model Porsche you drive and whether the part can be repaired or not; however, it’s generally recommended to remove the MAF sensor and replace it. Sometimes thoroughly cleaning the MAF sensor will do the trick. Removing a failing MAF sensor requires special tools, skill, and knowledge of various Porsche models, particularly because removing the MAF sensor can be difficult.

How to prevent MAF sensor failure

One of the causes of MAF sensor failure is debris contamination; in other words, motor oil dirt and debris buildup can clog and damage the sensor. By performing regular oil changes, you keep your motor oil clean and free of dirt and debris. Additionally, frequent tune-ups and inspections can help you to catch an issue early-on, or even prevent MAF sensor failure all together with appropriate maintenance and monitoring.

Porsche Carerra 2002

The Porsche specialists at Star Motors have seen every Porsche issue over the last 3 decades. Their experience in Porsche maintenance and repair rivals the nearby dealerships, but offered at a fraction of the cost. Our clients here in the areas of San Juan Capistrano and Southern Orange County, CA, remain loyal to our shop because it’s clear that we work hard at proving our honesty, integrity, and fairness—as you know, most automotive shops don’t have a great reputation for those qualities. If you are experiencing any of the concerning symptoms mentioned above, you might need to replace or service your Porsche’s MAF sensor. To schedule an appointment, check out our home page or contact us directly. We look forward to helping your Porsche run its best, always.

Porsche Carerra 2002 image credit goes to: contrastaddict.

Mercedes-Benz Gear Shift Problems

Mercedes-Benz is a brand known for their durability, longevity, and sophistication; however, even the most highly reliable brands can let us down once in a while. Whether you own an automatic or a manual transmission Mercedes, particular models have been known to undergo transmission issues—particularly with the gear selectors. When a gear selector fails, it can be frustrating to deal with the inconvenience and sometimes the problem is expensive to repair. Keeping up with ongoing vehicle maintenance can greatly reduce the risk of gear selector issues, although sometimes the cause of such issues has nothing to do with our diligence as car owners and everything to do with manufacturing and design. It helps to know how you as a Mercedes owner can help prevent such issues from occurring, but first let’s take a look at what gear selector issues look like and the potential causes.

Symptoms of gear selector failure

It’s not always easy to differentiate gear selector issues from other similar problems in a Mercedes-Benz, but it helps to have an idea of what to look for. If your gear selector is failing, you might notice grinding noises while shifting gears, or clicking sounds coming from the gear selector itself. It is also common to experience difficulty shifting smoothly from one gear to the next—which mainly occurs in automatic engines. Drivers with gear selector failure have also noticed difficulty going from drive to reverse smoothly without stopping fully in neutral.

Potential Causes

While the symptoms of transmission problems mimic the symptoms of other potential issues, these are some of the common reasons why you could be having issues with your gear selector.

Transmission is worn

Your transmission is made up of a system of intricate parts including bands, linkages, cables, and gears, all of which wear out over time. It is important to keep your Mercedes well-maintained, including frequent tune-ups and inspections, fluid changes and top-offs, and replace any parts that are especially damaged or worn. By doing these things and following your recommended maintenance schedule set forth by the dealership, you can prevent transmission wear from leading to gear selector failure.

Failing valve body

The valve body is a critical element of an automatic transmission. It is responsible for keeping hydraulic fluid flowing through the transmission so that the proper gear-shifting mechanism can be enabled while going from one gear to the next. If the valve body fails, then the gear-shifting mechanism also fails. It is important to have your automotive specialist thoroughly inspect the valve body to determine where the root of gear-shifting issues is coming from. If the valve body is failing or damaged, then it will need to be replaced by a professional.

Defective Manufacturing

Although Mercedes vehicles are exceptional, every brand has its downsides and manufacturing issues. Mercedes vehicles have been known to display some transmission difficulties, which in the past have lead to several class-action lawsuits due to customers’ dissatisfaction with faulty transmissions. Other transmission issues that have been known to come up in Mercedes vehicles are shifter module or brake light switch failure, both of which can lead to gear-shifting problems.

The importance of an accurate diagnosis

When you experience transmission issues, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with a professional Mercedes specialist. It is imperative to employ the correct troubleshooting methods and order of operations to rule-out potential causes of the problem. To accurately diagnose an issue, it is important to have the proper equipment and specialized skills working with Mercedes vehicles—otherwise, you might end up spending hundreds in diagnostic fees alone.

Mercedes Logo

Star Motors approach

The staff of experts here at Star Motors are an essential part of why our business has remained one of the top European automotive specialty shops in the area of San Juan Capistrano and Southern Orange County for over 30 years; they are certified, and highly-trained and skilled in working with all Mercedes vehicles. If you drive a Mercedes and are having difficulty with your transmission or gear selector, contact us today to schedule an inspection or diagnostic appointment. If you have any other questions about our business including pricing and qualifications, give us a call—we’d be happy to give you more information!

Mercedes Interior image credit goes to: VladTeodor.

Mercedes Logo image credit goes to: THEPALMER.