The Job of a Torque Converter in Your Vehicle and What to Do When It Goes Bad

The role of a torque converter is to transfer torque, or power, from the engine to the transmission. To state this plainly, it means when you push the gas pedal, the car moves. The torque converter performs the same job as a clutch would in vehicles with manual transmissions, but the components work differently to achieve the same goal. Let’s go over the basics of a torque converter and how they work.

What Is a Torque Converter?

A torque converter is a kind of fluid coupling which takes rotating power from an engine and transfers it to a load. The most common place for a torque converter is in cars, trucks, and semi’s, but they are also in things like heavy machinery or other items with engines. It is typically located between the transmission and the engine’s flexplate, wherein the flexplate is then spun by the crankshaft.

If you looked inside a torque converter cover there is a pump, compromised of a series of propeller-like blades. This assembly will spin in unison with the crankshaft, forcing transmission fluid onto the impeller, which is basically another blade assembly. This second assembly connects to the transmission input shaft. The gear or speed of your vehicle is directly related to the amount of hydraulic pressure created inside the transmission. For more details visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_converter where you can read about the full scope of how a torque converter operates.

Signs That Your Torque Converter Needs Attention

Too much stress on a torque converter can result in failure, which could potentially be dangerous. Experiencing any of these signals should send you to a mechanic who will diagnose and fix the problem. Listening to the engine as it cycles through gears, combined with the feel of your car should help alert you to changes like these:

  • Shuddering of vehicle
  • Overheating
  • Gears slipping
  • Transmission Fluid Contamination
  • Higher Gear Engagement RPM
  • Odd sounds as it moves through gears

Determining the correct replacement torque converter for your vehicle is based on several factors.

Choosing the Correct Torque Converter

Installing the right torque converter for your specific vehicle is crucial. The wrong choice can mean your vehicle will not perform up to its potential. Choosing the best torque converter means you need to consider your vehicle’s weight, tire diameter, fuel system, transmission model and the year of your car. There are even more considerations if you have a high-performance car that needs to achieve top speeds with super smooth function like you can get with an allison torque converter. This type of converter will create optimal torque sending more power to the wheels.

For more on the role of torque converters and their performance visit Hotrod.com where they discuss different converters and their advantages. Understanding the parts of your vehicle and how they function will help you keep it in top working condition and keep you safely on the move. So, it benefits you to learn more about your vehicle and how it works.

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