Your vehicle's torque converter is a component within your transmission system that acts as the clutch, allowing your engine to idle instead of turning itself off while your vehicle is at a standstill. A damaged or failing torque converter can disrupt or even stop the flow of transmission fluid in your engine, which can be a serious concern and can inhibit the proper operation of your vehicle, increasing the risk of an accident occurring. Thankfully, there are a few signs that can let you know when you need to contact a mechanic to have your torque converter looked at.
One of the most obvious warning signs associated with a failing torque converter is if your transmission's gears slip down unexpectedly. This is because of poor transmission fluid pressure within your engine, which in turn prevents your transmission from holding the gear that it is currently in. This can greatly alter your car's speed, and will also increase the overall amount of wear that your transmission experiences, increasing the risk of another component failure occurring, and should be treated as the serious issue that it is.
Similar to the above point, a damaged or ailing torque converter will severely hamper your vehicle's acceleration. This will take the form of a slower general acceleration as your transmission struggles to maintain the correct fluid pressure to shift gears upwards, but can also cause your vehicle to suddenly lose speed when the transmission slips into a lower gear unexpectedly.
Another clear indication that your vehicle's torque converter needs to be looked at by a professional is if you have trouble shifting gears. This is the flipside of slipping gears: because of inadequate pressure in your transmission due to a damaged torque converter, it may take a lot of effort to shift up as you speed up, resulting in clunking sounds and jolts with sudden surges of speed.
Slow Speed Vibrations
A torque converter that is on its last legs will manifest itself through heavy vibration of your entire vehicle, especially while driving at low speeds or while idling. This vibration is because the torque converter is not able to fully disengage the transmission from the engine, causing the idling pistons to shake the entire vehicle instead. If this is the case, you need to head to a mechanic straight away, such as at Hillis 66 Service, as your transmission will be experiencing increased wear that could cause other pieces to fail if left unchecked.