Signs That the Torque Converter of Your Car is Faulty

15 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

A torque converter is an important part of automatic gear transmission systems. It controls how much transmission fluid is circulating within the system. Any problem in the torque converter will cause the car to exhibit some symptoms. This article discusses some of the symptoms of torque converter problems.


Have you ever noticed your car shuddering as if you are driving on a bumpy surface? Shuddering may be indicative of torque converter problems. That shuddering usually happens when you are driving at a moderate speed, such as at 30 miles per hour. This shuddering may start and stop without any apparent reason.

Transmission Slipping

Torque converter problems may also cause excessive or insufficient transmission fluid to circulate within the transmission system. Gears may slip as a result. For instance, you may notice that your car has suddenly lost acceleration if too much transmission fluid gets into the gear system. Your car may also start using more fuel to cover the same distance that used to require less fuel.


You may also suspect that the torque converter of your car has a problem if your car starts overheating. For instance, less fluid may flow within the transmission system. That limited fluid may cause the car to overheat because there will be limited pressure to keep the fluid flowing to all parts of the transmission system.

Contaminated Fluid

The torque converter has several clutches that regulate the flow of transmission fluid. Those clutches may be damaged by several factors, such as overheating. Those damaged clutches can cause the transmission fluid to have black contaminants within it. You can confirm that this is the problem if you see these black particles soon after changing the transmission fluid of your car.

High Stall Speeds

The stall speed refers to the maximum RPM (revolutions per minute) that the engine of your car can reach if you depress the accelerator pedal fully for a few seconds while stepping on the brake pedal when your car is stationary. Each car has a stall speed stipulated by the manufacturer. Perform a stall speed test on your car. Compare the results to what is indicated in the manual of your car. The torque converter may be defective in case the stall speed is currently higher than what the manufacturer stipulated.

Several factors can cause the symptoms above. It may therefore be premature for you to conclude that the torque converter of your car has a problem if other possible causes have not been ruled out. Only a professional can make a definitive diagnosis of a defective torque converter. It is advisable for you to consult a specialist as soon as you notice any of the symptoms above so that a remedy is found before the entire transmission system fails.