A torque converter is a vital part of an automatic transmission yet it is commonly misunderstood. But to clarify its importance, let us explain to you how it works.
The torque converter works similarly like a clutch on a manual transmission. It is a type of a fluid coupling that connects to the engine and the automatic transmission. If a vehicle needs to slow down and get idle, like for example when in a stoplight, with the help of a torque converter, the engine does not need to stop so that the wheels and gears will not work, too.
A torque converter is protected by a very tough casing. Inside, you’ll find several parts such as:
- Transmission Fluid
The housing of the torque converter is tightly connected to the flywheel, a part of an engine. On the other side, the stater output is connected to the fixed shaft of a transmission and the turbine output shaft is connected to the transmission.
Apart from the control on the idle state of a vehicle, a torque converter also helps the driver to acquire the necessary acceleration when the vehicle needs to move again. With the recent advancements, modern vehicles have developed the torque converter to multiply the torque of the engine for as much as twice or thrice of how it used to on old vehicle models. Additionally, there are also some cars with lock clutch on their torque converter that helps eliminate slippage.
Your converter is also susceptible to damages. These may arise if it has damaged the needle bearings, seals, clutches or solenoid. Some of the signs that it has a problem are the following:
- Transmission slipping
- Shuddering when driving on a speed of 30 to 45 mph
- Black material on the fluid
- Transmission takes longer to engage the engine
- Clicking or revving noises
It is necessary that you visit a reputable mechanic in case your torque converter experiences problems. It will then be assessed if it can be repaired or replaced. However, the second choice is much preferred because sometimes, repairing it is more expensive than replacing it.