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How to Diagnose Problems in Torque Converter of Your Car

by Dutch Silverstein May 22, 2018

The responsibilities associated with owning a vehicle are often overlooked by the average driver; it’s understandable that auto maintenance can be expensive and inconvenient at times. However, when maintenance is foregone for too long, parts can begin to malfunction and deteriorate, which can have an even greater effect on the other parts of the car. This is problematic, because when repairs start to pile up the final result is a huge repair bill—which most of us can’t afford either.

Quickly and accurately diagnosing the problems that your automobile inevitably encounters is the best way to prevent more serious issues from occurring. When it comes to the transmission and powertrain, nothing is more important. In automatic transmissions, one part that can quite easily encounter issues is the torque converter. Since it’s such a prevalent repair, this article will briefly discuss torque converter issues and what you can do to remedy the problem.

What is a Torque Converter?

In a manual car, the clutch connects that engine to the transmission, allowing the vehicle to stop completely without causing engine damage by disengaging the engine from the transmission. In cars with an automatic transmission, the torque converter performs this same very important function. Essentially, it converts the engine’s power into a different usable power through the transmission, so it can shift gears automatically without causing damage to the powertrain and engine failure. It is a complex component that plays a critical role in your car’s performance, and without it your car would be rendered unusable. When problems occur in the torque converter, it’s important to have the problem diagnosed right away.

Issues with Components of the Torque Converter

As we said before, the torque converter is a complex component, made up of several other intricate parts and pieces, such as the pump, stator, transmission fluid, and turbine. If there are issues with the torque converter, then the source of the problem could be traced back to any one of the internal components. Ultimately, when these parts are working properly the transmission fluid flow is interrupted, causing significant engine deficits and impairments.

Symptoms of a Failing Torque Converter

It’s important to be on the lookout for any troubling symptoms in your car, especially when it comes to the torque converter. Preventing engine damage will not only save you a lot of money in repairs, but it will extend the longevity and value of your vehicle. Here are the most common signs of torque converter issues:

Trouble Shifting Gears

Your automatic transmission performs the function of shifting gears on its own with the help of the torque converter. If the torque converter encounters problems, you might notice the car has difficulty shifting gears, and might even start slipping gears.

Loss of Power Upon Acceleration

For cars that are known for their highly responsive characteristics, this can be the most concerning sign of torque converter trouble. You might notice that as your car gains speed upon acceleration it seems sluggish or loses its steam.

Rough Riding

Another concerning sign to look out for is physical roughness in the cabin. With torque converter failure, you may experience a vibration or shaking when the car’s speed is increased.

Contaminated Transmission Fluid

Checking all your fluids is critical for the health of your engine and overall vehicle performance. The transmission fluid should be clear and free of debris and dirt. If you notice that it has fine silt or chunky pieces in it, you will need to perform a transmission flush as well as possible torque converter repair.

Car Gauge

Performing a Differential Diagnosis

If you begin to experience the symptoms of torque converter failure in your car, it’s important to have an experienced, trusted automotive specialist perform a differential diagnosis—this will rule out any other possible causes of the symptoms. Here at A&M Auto Service, we have diverse knowledge and experience working with all European import vehicles, such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes. For over 2 decades, A&M Auto Service has provided high quality, affordable automotive care for residents of Pineville, Charlotte, and Greensboro, NC. To learn more about our shop or to schedule a diagnostic procedure, please contact one of our helpful professionals today.

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