Bad Torque Converter Symptoms – How To Fix Common Issues?

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  • Bad Torque Converter Symptoms – How To Fix Common Issues?

A torque converter is a complicated and complex part of the automobile that transfers the power of the engine to the transmission. The converter is an alternative to the mechanical clutch in manual transmission. Torque converters multiply torque at lower RPM while working in excellent condition. It allows more power generation than possible through simple fluid coupling. However, some Bad Torque Converter Symptoms may help you identify the Trouble and fix it quickly. In this detailed guide, you will learn about the Trouble and its quick solution. Look at the information, such as parts, stages, issues, and solutions discussed below.

Commonly Seen Bad Torque Converter Symptoms

The following are the bad torque converter symptoms:

  • Slipping between gears– usually, slipping occurs when changing gears, and a strange noise is generated. It happens when the torque converter starts malfunctioning.

  • Overheating – many vehicles have a transmission temperature detector which indicates when the car’s transmission is overheating. If this happens, check the transmission that it got stuck onto one gear and does not change. These problems can cause a failure in a torque converter.

  • Transmission fluid is contaminated– the car’s torque converter relies on transmission fluid to operate accurately. If it becomes contaminated, everything that uses and depends on the fluid can be damaged.

  • Torque seal damage– this can get damaged because of various reasons. Fluid leaks will occur if the seal is damaged. Hence, it is impossible to maintain the transmission fluid during the leakage. The torque converter has to transfer the power from the engine to the transmission, thus, causing damage to both the transmission and the torque converter.

How To Fix A Failing Torque Converter?

There are various methods for fixing common torque converter issues.

In case of slipping or shuddering

Check the fluid levels if the transmission or torque converter has begun to slip or shudder. At first, it is not sure that the problem of slipping and shuddering is happening because of the torque converter until fluid levels are not checked. Either of the signs only occur if the wrong amount of fluid or fluid is in the transmission.

In case of overheating and seal Damage

It happens when a damaged torque converter seals the fluid leaks and causes overheating and damage. The lack of fluid is the cause of overheating, slipping, or shuddering. To fix the issue, discover the damaged seal and have it replaced.

In the case of containment transmission fluid

There can be a bigger inside the converter or transmission when a contaminated fluid has little bits of one or another. Clutch material, bearing, and bushing pieces, and a shiny metal flake appearance would be an indication that things are coming apart inside. It indicates a red flag that leads to the need for an expert to repair it.

Torque Converters Go Through 3 Basic Operating Stages

A correctly working Torque Converter goes through the following three phases:

Stalling (Phase 1)

While stopping the car, the engine is still working. The converter applies power to the impeller that rotates independently, thus without coupling the turbine.

Acceleration (Phase 2)

When the car starts again and steps on the gas, the impeller rotates at high speed, and due to the turbine rotating more slowly, torque multiplication will produce.

Coupling (Phase 3)

The turbine rotates at about 90% of the impeller speed, which causes the multiplication of torque, while the vehicle starts moving at a fast pace. At this moment, the lock-up clutch locks the turbine to the impeller, which gives better efficiency and prevents any slippage.

Parts of Torque Between the Engine, Flexplate, and Transmission

  • Impeller– it is a part that is designed with curved blades and filled with fluid. When the blades spin, the impeller diffuses fluids with the use of centrifugal fluids, and then quickly it rotates, the more fluid is pressured outwards, emitting energy to the turbine.

  • Turbine– it is located opposite the impeller and designed same curved blades. The impeller gives the fluids to the turbine, spinning as fluid flows against its blades, then making it to and fro, transmitting rotational mechanical power through fluid coupling.

  • Stator– this part is situated between the impeller and turbine, from where it receives fluid and turns the fluid flow at almost a 90-degree angle, causing torque multiplications.

  • Housing– the impeller is launched to the torque converter housing connected to an engine.

  • Turbine output shaft– it connects the turbine to the transmission and wheels of the vehicle.

How To Discover Bad Torque Converter Symptoms?

One can check the torque converter condition in many scenarios by performing a stall speed test. This involves putting the vehicle in gear by pressing the brake and accelerator, therefore, observing the maximum engine speed on the dashboard. A stall speed higher than the specification means an internal transmission problem. There can be either an engine performance problem or a defective torque converter if the stall speed is lower than the specification point. However, Professional technicians never suggest Torque Converter stall testing for all vehicles.

Professional technicians check the torque converter by driving the vehicle with an OEM-level scan tool that is connected to an onboard diagnostic port. One can see torque converter clutch data on tools that will show how much or when the clutch is applied. For some vehicles, the scan tool could be used for directly activating the converter clutch. Thus, the converter clutch engagement must happen smoothly with minimum slippage.

Tips To Avoid Torque Converter Failure

Poor service can often result in bad Torque Converter Symptoms showing up. Here are a few things you can avoid to ensure that your car’s Torque Converter doesn’t fail.

Poor acceleration

Suppose the vehicles have issues accelerating after the torque converter service. It might be because the stall range didn’t match the camshaft RPM range properly. The stall speed should be around 500 RPM higher than starting RPM of the cam. While selecting the specifications, ensure to check the vehicle’s weight factor.

The converter fits too tightly against the flexplate

In this problem, the repair technician might not have correctly seated the torque converter on the transmission shaft. One must feel 3 clicks of engagement, the third being the pump drive. The transmission should be removed, and again install the converter.

The converter won’t engage on the input shaft

Test working the converter up and down on the input shaft, rotating it gently. It can be hard to install small converters as there is less space for internal parts to move; hence, select the correct size.

Premature wear or torque converter failure

If you choose a high converter with low gear, it can overheat and fail. Therefore, the professionals never suggest that a torque converter should install on a transmission that has failed previously. Since debris from the damaged transmission can travel through a converter and damage it.

Further Points To Remember:

  • Usage of best quality products
  • For the new torque converter, take measurements to ensure proper engagement.
  • Replace the transmission filter at the same time
  • Examine the flexplate entirely to ensure accurate space remains.
  • Lubricate, as it is necessary

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a bad torque converter damage the transmission?

Indeed, transmission to overheating can cause due to some Bad Torque Converter symptoms resulting in internal damage. However, debris from a faulty converter can cause issues by circulating throughout the transmission.

Can a torque converter be repaired?

There are many companies that have a specialty in overhauling torque converters. Thus, only a few shops would try to build a torque converter again; replacement is usually a better option.

Will a bad torque converter throw a code?

Sometimes, not every time. Many converter-related codes must do with a torque converter clutch. Other issues with the converter are less likely to set a code.

What is a torque converter?

According to the research, the torque converter transfers rotating power generated by the engine or rotating driven load.

What are the indications of a bad torque converter?

There are many bad torque converter symptoms:

  • Loss of acceleration
  • Slipping between gears
  • Vehicles refuse to shift
  • Overheating of transmission
  • Leakage in transmission fluid

What are the phases of a torque converter?

There are three phases of the torque converter

  • Phase 1 is installing
  • Phase 2 is acceleration
  • And, Phase 3 is coupling

How many parts does the torque converter have?

There are a total of five parts of the torque converter that are:

  1. Impeller
  2. Turbine
  3. Housing
  4. Stator
  5. Turbine output shaft

What are the points to remember for a safe torque converter?

Key points to remember for the best result

  • Usage of best quality products
  • For the new torque converter, take measurements to ensure proper engagement.
  • Replace the transmission filter at the same time
  • Examine the flexplate entirely to ensure accurate space remains.
  • Lubricate, as it is necessary

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