What is the Torque Converter and Why is It Causing Me So Many Problems?

December 6, 2019 | By Mister Transmission

What is the Torque Converter and Why is It Causing Me So Many Problems?

If you’ve done any cursory research on transmissions and how they work you may have come across the torque converter. Indeed, if you’ve ever looked up common transmission problems, you will no doubt have seen the torque converter mentioned. What is this mystery component of the transmission? And why is it causing you so many gosh darn problems?

The Torque Converter

The torque converter is a type of fluid coupling. What is a fluid coupling? A fluid coupling, also known as a hydraulic coupling, is a device used to transmit rotating mechanical power. It is an alternative to a mechanical clutch. So, the torque converter is one of these and it transfers rotating power generated by the engine to a rotating driven load. In an automatic transmission vehicle, the torque converter connects the power source to the load. The torque converter is typically located between the engine’s flexplate and the transmission. For a manual transmission vehicle, the equivalent component would be the mechanical clutch.

The main characteristic of a torque converter is its ability to multiply torque. This is key. Simple fluid coupling can match rotational speed but cannot multiply torque. As a result, using a torque converter allows for more power. Some torque converters are also equipped with a “lockup” mechanism. A lockup rigidly binds the engine to the transmission when their speeds are nearly equal in order to avoid slippage and a resulting loss of efficiency.

Torque Converter Problems

The torque converter can be involved in a lot of transmission problems. It’s not that these devices are poorly designed, they’re just so integral to the function of the transmission that if something goes wrong, it is probably affected. As an illustration of this, it is standard procedure to replace the torque converter in transmission overhauls. Transmission overhauls, which are also known as transmission rebuilds, involve removing the transmission from the chassis, taking it apart piece by piece, inspecting every piece, cleaning the ones that are still good and replacing the damaged ones. But good technicians don’t take chances on torque converters, they just replace them.

Symptoms Of Torque Converter Problems

Torque converters aren’t always the cause of your transmission problems. In fact, they’re rarely the cause. But they are almost always affected by any problem that your transmission does have. The takeaway from all this: torque converter problems rarely occur in isolation. If you have a problem with your torque converter, you probably have a problem with your transmission more broadly, and should bring your vehicle into a transmission shop for inspection. But how can you know if you have an issue with your torque converter? Well, some of the symptoms of torque converter problems are:

  • Overheating
  • Slipping
  • Shuddering
  • Dirty transmission fluid
  • High stall speeds
  • Strange noises, such as humming, whirring, or clunking

Mister Transmission

At Mister Transmission we have replaced hundreds, if not thousands, of torque converters and we can replace yours too, if necessary. Not sure if your torque converter is the problem? Don’t worry, our Mister Transmission Multi-Check Inspection is bound to find out if there is a problem with your torque converter or any other part of your transmission. To learn more about torque converters or our services, please contact us.

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
Great service and friendly staff....
Matt L
Great service and friendly staff. Would recommend.
Date: May 6, 2021
Website: Google
Great group of workers, excellent...
Spencer Brien
Great group of workers, excellent customer service, and lots of knowledge. nothing but good things to say about this shop!
Date: May 5, 2021
Website: Google
Brought in vehicle thinking I...
Dan And
Brought in vehicle thinking I had a transmission problem which after their inspection it turned out to be a wheel bearing growling which they replaced immediately. They have an excellent and honest shop and Chris the manager is second to none. He will answer any an all questions you may have. I highly recommend this shop .
Date: May 5, 2021
Website: Google
Fair price, good service and...
Rodolfo Oceguera
Fair price, good service and good attitude. I give them four out of five stars because it took a bit longer than expected but overall totally recommended
Date: May 4, 2021
Website: Google
I have to say I've...
Clinton Strzeszkowski
I have to say I've dealt with a few transmission shops in my life and Mr. Transmission inlethbridge treated me with the most exceptional and courteous service i could even imagine existed. Dave and Shawna and Fred treated me like family the best service and quality workmanship you could ever need. They have my business from now on.Thank you very much😃😃😃
Date: May 4, 2021
Website: Google
An amazing experience, very professional,...
James Cooper
An amazing experience, very professional, very honest, very up front. The mechanics know there stuff and it shows in their work.
Date: May 4, 2021
Website: Google
Great customer service, received updates...
Matt Ransome
Great customer service, received updates during the time it was in the shop and everything works perfectly.
Date: May 4, 2021
Website: Google
Good experience. Great customer service....
Felix Pozojevic
Good experience. Great customer service. Walked me through a bill I didn't understand
Date: May 3, 2021
Website: Google
Amazing place would recommend to...
Nandakumar M
Amazing place would recommend to everyone
Date: May 1, 2021
Website: Google
My cat loves visiting St....
James Snow
My cat loves visiting St. Catherine’s Animal Hospital, great and friendly service every time!
Date: April 30, 2021
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
What Is A Driveline, And Do I Need It Se...
Have you ever heard of a “driveline” before? Wondering what it is? Does it have
Read More
May 6, 2021
Do CVT Transmissions Need Repairs More O...
CVTs are still relatively new so people often have a lot of questions about them.
Read More
May 3, 2021
Do You Really Need To Change Your Transm...
You’re supposed to change your transmission fluid every so often. But is that
Read More
April 30, 2021
How Do You Identify Transmission Problem...
As with many things in life, identifying transmission problems early on can save you
Read More
April 14, 2021
What Are The Most Important Transmission...
Transmissions need occasional service and maintenance to continue performing at high
Read More
April 9, 2021
Why You Need To Regularly Visit A Transm...
There are a plethora of reasons why somebody might visit a transmission shop. But
Read More
April 5, 2021
CVTs Vs. Automatic Transmissions
Looking at buying or leasing a vehicle and want to know if you should opt for one
Read More
March 31, 2021
What Are The Most Recurring Transmission...
Some transmission repairs are inevitable; if you own your vehicle for long enough,
Read More
March 19, 2021
Why Is It Necessary To Change Your Trans...
Do you really have to change your transmission fluid or is it just one of those
Read More
March 10, 2021
When Should You Visit A Transmission Sho...
Transmission shops offer services that are vital to the upkeep and maintenance of
Read More
March 3, 2021