The torque converter helps an automatic transmission connect and disconnect from the powertrain. It functions like a clutch in a manual transmission.Continue Reading
The torque converter is a fluid coupling that contains three elements, including the impeller, turbine and stator. Unlike a traditional fluid coupling, a torque converter is able to multiply turning power.
The impeller and turbine are fan-like parts that move in transmission fluid. The impeller connects to the engine and the turbine connects to transmission input shaft. Unless the vehicle is in neutral or park, the motion of the turbine makes the vehicle move. The stator sits between the impeller and turbine and aids fluid flow. The impeller spins and pushes fluid against the turbine and causes it to spin. The faster the impeller, the faster the turbine,which means the vehicle will move faster.Learn more about Transmission
An automatic transmission shifter works by using planetary gear sets to provide different gear ratios. The transmission connects to the bell housing, which contains a torque converter instead of a clutch like in a manual transmission, and the bell housing connects to the engine.Full Answer >
The warning signs of a bad torque converter include transmission slippage and surging, partial loss of vehicular power, problems when attempting to switch gears and abnormal engine noise. According to Cars Direct, these symptoms may occur separately or simultaneously. Immediate service and converter replacement is the only way to prevent catastrophic engine damage.Full Answer >
Common transmission problems include low fluid levels and problems with the torque converter, solenoid or clutch. These issues occur with automatic transmissions, which are the most common in passenger vehicles as of 2015.Full Answer >
A bad torque converter interferes with the transfer of power from the engine to the transmission of a vehicle. It causes transmission overheating, slipping and shuddering and poor fuel economy. Vehicle owners sometimes think their transmission is bad when the real problem is the torque converter.Full Answer >