Would a faulty mass air flow sensor cause the car not to be able to start?
air flow sensor on 1998 Nissan 200SX
yes, it will. unplug the mass air flow sensor. start the car. As the car idles, plug the sensor back in. If the car dies, your sensor is bad. this is only sure way to check if it is bad. I know. I just had mine replaced and watched as my mechanic did this and voila, replaced it and the car starts and idles just fine now.
This car uses a Mass Air Flow sensor (hot wire type). Without this sensor working correctly the vehicle's computer cannot calculate how much fuel to inject into the engine.