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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As my bride is out and about this AM I get a call from her that some yellow lights are on on the dash, but the car is running OK. I ask if any of them look like an engine and are blinking. She says no. Moments later my Allstate drivewise dongle (plugged into vehicle diag port) sends me an email confirming a CEL.

I checked it out when she got home and it had a very stumbly idle. I revved it up a couple times to hear the engine like I did last time this happened (and it fixed it then) but it only made things worse this time. After that It won't run at all. Present code is P0101 "Mass Airflow (MAF) Circuit Operating Range or Performance Problem". No other codes.

I unplugged the MAF sensor and the vehicle started and is running OK, but the idle is a little bouncy.

Present codes are P0101, P0103, P0113.

I still have the new, unopened spare Hitachi (OEM) MAF sensor in my garage that I ordered last time this happened about 8-9 months ago. I may try it if the vehicle still acts up with the factory MAF sensor once the engine cools down. I think the real fix may be this TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10173557-0001.pdf

I just dread any service visit. I have the TSB printed out and ready to go. LOL.
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Turns out my 2019 will not run worth a hoot with the MAF unplugged. My wife tried it, got a few miles away, turned around and came right back. Again it stalled and would not run.

What I found makes me feel like a real dummy. I removed the top of the air cleaner to get better access to the MAF so I could swap in the replacement. Upon doing that I discovered the lousy Napa Pro Select air filter I had in there was sagged and distorted just a bit. Enough that it was allowing unfiltered air to pass into the engine. This has been going on for months!

I vacuumed out the air cleaner, etc, installed the new MAF, installed a new CarQuest Premium air filter (all stupid Napa had again was Pro Selects) and she runs like a top. Cleared all codes and we'll see how it goes.

Word to the wise, avoid any engine air filter with out the metal mesh on the clean side. Ones w/out will deform, sag and cause unfiltered air into your engine. See the pics of the Napa pro select below. The CarQuest Premium fits like a glove.


 

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I had the EXACT same issue a while back. Aftermarket (Napa - rhymes with crappa) filter and poof - my MAF was pooched. Napa would not do squat. Nissan pointed to them - they to Nissan. $800 to fix.

Moral of the story? Use OEM filter only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Moral of the story? Use OEM filter only.
Yep. Use Nissan or a "premium". The $17 CarQuest premium I put in it today is built nicely and fits perfectly. You need a filter that has a nice solid frame to it or it will sag in the housing.
 

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It's possible that the problem was just the filters position in the box. P0101 is one of the most common codes and could be caused by a lot of stuff, but aftermarket air filter that doesn't fit really well is one. The sensor doesn't like turbulent air hitting it, which is caused by the bad seal. This sensor design doesn't really get dirty like some others, and can be tested with a basic scan tool for contamination, but I've never seen it.

There's an ecm update that addresses p0101 but usually only applies if there are no driveability issues.

Looking at the freeze frame data of the dtc, if it set at idle, it's usually a dirty throttle body. It's actually almost always a dirty throttle body, unless there are vacuum leaks present.

If the sensor is bad, they will usually run pretty good with it unplugged. It shouldn't be stalling at least.

For anyone else with this issue, know that a p0101 alone is nearly never the maf sensor, so save your money and try cleaning the throttle body. Remember that if you unplug the sensor, you'll set a few codes, so don't let that throw you off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Tutti thanks. I was hoping you'd catch this thread again.

It's been a few days since I swapped MAF sensor and filter and the vehicle has seen lots of use. It's been perfect.

I'm puzzled as to why it (eventually) wouldn't run w/ the MAF sensor unplugged. I knew it would set more codes with it unplugged, so that wasn't a concern for me. The concern was It ran for a few miles, then began having weird throttle response and stumbling idle. My wife then turned around and brought it back to me. If I tried to rev it up, it stalled and would crank, but not fire. No smoke or smell from exhaust. Oddly, if I cranked it in clear flood mode, I could smell fuel? It was ~80degF, super humid and the engine was fully warmed having just been used if that makes a difference.

I have a super cheap code reader, so I can't do anything advanced from the diag port.

I should address the throttle body given this vehicle has seen some air bypass the air filter for a very long time. Maybe much of it's 44K miles for all I know. When I bought it a year old w/ 24K miles it had a dirty filter in it that was crushed a bit at one end, then I installed the Napa pro select that sags and doesn't seal quite right.
 
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