A mass (air) flow sensor (MAF) is a sensor used to determine the mass flow rate of air entering a fuel-injected internal combustion engine. The air mass information is necessary for the engine control unit (ECU) to balance and deliver the correct fuel mass to the engine. Air changes its density with temperature and pressure.
In automotive applications, air density varies with the ambient temperature, altitude and the use of forced induction, which means that mass flow sensors are more appropriate than volumetric flow sensors for determining the quantity of intake air in each cylinder. Some of the signs of a faulty Air Mass Sensor is that the engine stalls shortly after starting, uneven acceleration, engine hiccups etc.