Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter

Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter

If you drive an automatic transmission car, you might have already mastered the torque converter of your car. A torque converter transfers the power made by your vehicle’s engine to its transmission. Thus, you command the torque converter each time you shift gears in your vehicle. 

Because it is considered to be a crucial component of your car, its failure can lead to major internal damage. Hence, knowing the symptoms of a bad torque converter is essential for you. 

Loss of acceleration, overheating of transmission, and slipping between gears are some of the common symptoms of a bad torque converter. 

It can be a bit challenging for you to identify whether an issue in your car is caused because of a faulty torque converter or something else. On the contrary, a repair shop can easily identify the source of the issue by analyzing these signs. 

Hence, in this article, we will help you in learning about the signs that will allow you to recognize a failing torque converter.

Torque converter and its impact on your transmission

The torque converter is a crucial and complex component of your car which helps in transferring the power of the engine to the transmission. 

In technical terms, the torque converter is one type of fluid coupling, also known as hydraulic coupling, which serves as an alternative to the mechanical clutch in manual transmission.

In proper working conditions, a torque converter multiplies torque at lower RPM, which allows more power generation in comparison to a general fluid coupling.

In general, a torque converter is located between the flex plate and the transmission, comprising several parts, such as – the impeller, turbine, stator, housing, and turbine output shaft. If any of these parts fail, the torque converter will fail as well.

Moreover, a bad torque converter can negatively affect your transmission. The bad torque converter in your car can lead to internal damage, friction, overheating, and even degradation of your transmission fluid. Hence, if these issues continue for a long time, it causes high damage to your transmission.

How Many Parts Does The Torque Converter In Your Automatic Transmission Have?

Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter

The torque converter in the automatic transmission of your car is made of five parts – 

  1. Stator

It is called the middleman as it works as a conduit that reverses the transmission fluid and sends it back to the turbine impeller.

  • Impeller pump

It receives the transmission fluid once delivered, and the crankshaft of the engine spins the impeller.

  • Turbine

It acquires a spline that is connected to the transmission input shaft that’s attached to the internal parts of the transmission for shifting gears and giving power to the wheels.

  • Clutch

It locks up the torque converter at higher speeds for creating less slip and greater fuel efficiency.

  • Fluid

It is a vital component of the torque converter utilized for giving fluid coupling.

Also Read: How To Fix Engine Power Reduced- Read On To Know More About It

Six Symptoms Of A Faulty Torque Converter

Here are some signs that can help you to identify a failing torque converter – 

  • Acceleration loss

In case your vehicle is feeling unusually sluggish or it is strongly shaking whenever you press the gas pedal – as if it is struggling to accelerate as it generally does – it can be a symptom that your car is having a transmission issue, caused by the torque converter.

  • Slipping between gears

Automatic vehicles tend to shift effortlessly between gears. You can notice it when accelerating or decelerating in a fast motion. 

If you ever noticed that the car is slipping when it’s shifting between gears or just having trouble staying in a particular gear, then it may be caused due to some sort of issue in your torque converter.  

  • The vehicle is not shifting at all

A definite symptom of a faulty torque converter is when your can is not shifting to a particular gear at all. 

  • Overheated transmission

Similar to the engine, the transmission of your car also acquires a sensitive temperature gauge that warns you about the overheated transmission. If your transmission is overheating, consider contacting a transmission specialist, as it is a big concern. 

Your failing torque converter can be a significant cause behind it.

  • Leaking of transmission fluid

Transmission fluid is an important component that determines the quality of the torque converter’s performance. Over time, the seals of the torque converter wear off, which makes it one of the common sources of transmission fluid leaks. 

If you ever notice transmission fluid leaking, consider it to be a warning and take the necessary steps to fix it to avoid any major internal damage. 

  • Bad transmission fluid

If your transmission fluid is looking dark, milky, or filled with debris such as metal shavings, you will have to service your transmission immediately. Because it can be a sign of a failing torque converter, proper inspection by an expert technician is necessary.

Causes Of Torque Converter Issues

Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter

Here are some causes of torque converter issues – 

  • The damaged seals of the torques converter
  • The damaged clutch solenoid of the torques converter
  • The degraded clutch of the torque converter
  • The defective needle bearings

What Is The Replacement Cost For A Torque Converter?

Replacing the torque converter is cheaper than the transmission. To begin with, a torque converter only costs between 150 USD to 350 USD. Hence, replacing it on your own will merely cost you 150 USD to 400 USD. On the other hand, replacing it from a transmission shop may cost 500 USD to 1000 USD, including 4 to 10 hours.

Check Here: Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake

Signs Of Poor Service And How To Avoid A Bad Torque Converter Repair

Here are some signs that indicate poor service in your torque converter repair – 

  • Poor acceleration.
  • Extremely fitted converter against the flexplate.
  • The converter is not engaging on the input shaft.
  • Premature wear or failure of the torque converter.

For Avoiding Bad Torque Converter Repair – 

Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter
  • Only use premium quality parts.
  • Take pre-measurements for ensuring proper management of the new converter.
  • Replace the transmission filter as well.

What Does It Sound Like When Your Torque Converter Is Going Bad?

You can hear some unusual sounds like rattling noise or even whirring noise if your torque converter goes bad. The sound may be generated when you accelerate.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Happens When A Transmission Torque Converter Goes Bad?

If it happens, you may experience shuddering or slipping into overdrive. Your car will shake even if it’s running at a lower speed, and the shudder will make your car lag.

2. How do you check a torque converter?

You can check the status of your torque converted by performing a stall speed test. All you’ve to do is put your car in gear with the brake pedal depressed, step, and press the accelerator to the floor, then note the highest engine speed on the dashboard.

3. Will a bad torque converter throw a code?

Sometimes, not always. The majority of the torque converter-related codes have something to do with the torque converter clutch. Other problems related to the converter are less likely to set a code.

Read More: Why Does My Car Make Noise When Turning Right But Not Left?

Leave a Comment