Understanding P0104: Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Intermittent

What is P0104?

P0104 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) in vehicles that signifies an intermittent issue with the Mass or Volume Air Flow (MAF) Circuit. This code is triggered when the Engine Control Unit (ECU) detects a problem with the signal from the MAF sensor.

The Role of Mass or Volume Air Flow Sensor

The MAF sensor plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s engine management system. It measures the amount of air entering the engine and sends this information to the ECU. With this data, the ECU can adjust the amount of fuel delivered to the engine to maintain optimal performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions.

How the MAF Sensor Works

The MAF sensor uses a heated wire to measure the volume of air entering the engine. As more air flows past the wire, it cools down. This change in temperature is then converted into a voltage signal sent to the ECU.

Why P0104 Error Occurs

Common Causes of P0104

The P0104 error typically occurs due to a faulty MAF sensor or problems in the electrical circuit connected to it. Other causes may include air leaks in the intake system, dirty or damaged MAF sensor elements, or a faulty ECU.

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Symptoms of P0104 Error

Symptoms of a P0104 error might include decreased fuel efficiency, difficulty starting the engine, stalling or rough idling, or an illuminated check engine light.

Diagnosing and Fixing P0104 Error

Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Begin by inspecting the MAF sensor and its wiring for visible damage. If the sensor is dirty, cleaning it might resolve the issue. Also, check for air leaks in the intake system.

Advanced Diagnostic Procedures

If the basic troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issue, advanced diagnostic tools like an OBD-II scanner may be needed. This device can read the codes from the ECU and provide more specific information about the problem.

Potential Repair Solutions

Depending on the diagnosis, repairs might involve replacing the MAF sensor, repairing the wiring or connectors, fixing air leaks, or in rare cases, replacing the ECU.

Preventing P0104 Error

Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Regular vehicle maintenance, including routine checks of the MAF sensor and the engine intake system, can help prevent P0104 and other similar errors.

Importance of a Functional MAF Sensor

Maintaining a functional MAF sensor is essential for your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. Neglecting this component can lead to severe engine problems over time.


Understanding theP0104 error code and its implications is crucial for every vehicle owner. Proper maintenance and prompt attention to issues related to the MAF sensor and intake system can prevent this error from occurring and help maintain optimal engine performance. If you encounter the P0104 error, follow the troubleshooting and diagnostic steps outlined in this article to identify and address the issue.


1. Can I drive my car with a P0104 error code?

While it may be possible to drive your car with a P0104 error, it’s not recommended. A malfunctioning MAF sensor can lead to reduced fuel efficiency, poor engine performance, and increased emissions. It’s best to address the issue as soon as possible.

2. How much does it cost to fix a P0104 error?

The cost of fixing a P0104 error depends on the specific issue and the make and model of your vehicle. Replacing a MAF sensor can range from $100 to $300, while repairing wiring or fixing air leaks might be less expensive.

3. Can a dirty air filter cause a P0104 error code?

A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to a potential P0104 error. Regularly checking and replacing the air filter can help prevent this issue.

4. How often should I clean or replace my MAF sensor?

There’s no specific interval for cleaning or replacing a MAF sensor. However, it’s a good practice to inspect the sensor during routine maintenance, such as oil changes or air filter replacements. If you notice the sensor is dirty or damaged, it’s best to clean or replace it accordingly.

5. Can a faulty MAF sensor cause my check engine light to come on?

Yes, a faulty MAF sensor can trigger the check engine light. If you experience the symptoms mentioned in this article or notice the check engine light is on, it’s essential to diagnose and address the issue to prevent further damage to your engine.