The torque converter is an integral part of the transmission. However, torque converters can also be a problem area. Is there something wrong with yours? What are the symptoms of a bad torque converter?
Before we get into symptoms and other matters, let’s make sure everybody is on the same page first. What exactly is the torque converter? The torque converter is a form of fluid coupling which transfers rotating power from the engine, to a rotating driven load, i.e., it allows power to flow from the engine to the wheels. But more than that, a torque converter can multiply torque when the rotational speed is very low, effectively providing the equivalent of a reduction gear. This is how the torque converter goes beyond simple fluid coupling, which can match rotational speed but cannot multiply torque. Your torque converter might also have a “lockup” mechanism that binds the engine to the transmission when their speeds are roughly equal, avoiding slippage and reducing inefficiency.
The torque converter is one of the more commonly replaced components of transmissions. That means torque converters tend to wear down and receive damage more often than other parts of the transmission. Is your torque converter in bad shape? How can you tell? What are the symptoms of a bad torque converter? Here are four of them:
1. Odd sounds are a symptom of a bad torque converter
Transmissions, and your vehicle in general, shouldn’t be very loud. And the noises it makes, it should make pretty regularly. When you begin to hear unusual noises, you should take notice. Rattling is one sound you want to be aware of. If you hear odd rattling sounds when you accelerate, this might be a symptom of a bad torque converter. The same can be true of whirring noises.
2. Shakiness is a symptom of a bad torque converter.
If those rattling noises are accompanied by shakiness and bad vibrations, your torque converter is likely in trouble. If it feels like you’re driving on a bumpy country road when you are not, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible.
3. Difficulty shifting is a symptom of a bad torque converter.
You want to be able to shift gears smoothly. A bad torque converter will not allow for that.
4. Slipping out of gear is a symptom of a bad torque converter.
Hard shifts are bad but the opposite is also bad. You don’t want to be slipping out of one gear into another.
To learn some more symptoms of a bad torque converter, please contact us.