Why You Need to Know About Torque Converters

The torque converter in your car or truck serves an essential purpose. It converts the engine’s power from rotary to linear power, allowing the wheels to turn and move the vehicle forward. Unfortunately, suppose you don’t have a properly functioning torque converter. That can significantly impact performance because your vehicle’s engine power will not efficiently reach the transmission. The good news is that your car care professional can fix or replace your vehicle’s torque converter and get it back on the road in no time.

What Is a Torque Converter?

A torque converter serves the same purpose as a manual transmission clutch. It connects the engine to the transmission and allows the engine to spin independently of the transmission. As a result, when you put your car in park or neutral, the engine can rotate while the transmission and the car’s wheels do not. Likewise, when you put your vehicle in gear and start driving, the torque converter connects the engine to the transmission to transmit power to the wheels.

How Does it work?

The torque converter is essentially two fans facing each other, with one fan, the impeller, connected to the engine. Meanwhile, the turbine is connected to the transmission. The spinning of the impeller, in turn, causes the turbine to turn, much like one fan blowing air over the blades of another fan. The torque converter uses transmission fluid instead of air to accomplish this task. When the turbine is held still, the engine can spin without transferring any power to the wheels, which happens when the vehicle is in park or neutral.

What Happens When Your Torque Converter Fails?

A failing torque converter can cause several issues. First, the transmission fluid will not be adequately pressurized, which will negatively affect gear function and cause overheating and degradation of the transmission fluid. Ignoring this problem will lead to more transmission damage and eventually total transmission failure. Typically you will notice a loss of power or hesitation when accelerating, possibly leaking transmission fluid.

What to Do About a Bad Torque Converter?

If you suspect a failing torque converter causes your car’s transmission problems, it is essential to see your car care professional. Usually, your mechanic will recommend replacing the torque converter and changing the vehicle’s transmission fluid. This is a major repair that will take the services of an experienced mechanic.

You should not ignore the signs of a failing torque converter, as it can lead to more severe damage and a more extensive repair bill later. See your trusted auto care professional today to get your car’s transmission repaired and your vehicle back on the road!

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