The term “torque converter” is common in automatic transmission conversation. People tend to blame any sort of transmission malfunction on it, and it has a catchy name that sticks with you. But what does it actually do, and how does it work? Permian Basin Transmission, Inc in Odessa has the answers.

First off, a torque converter does exactly what its name insinuates; it converts torque. That is to say, it serves the purpose in an automatic car, truck, or SUV that the clutch serves in a standard shift vehicle. The TC connects the engine to the transmission, allowing the rotating engine to drive the transmission. But how does it do that?

The intricacies of a torque converter are actually very complicated, but the basic principles are quite simple. The torque converter is a cylindrical device and housed within are two rotating impellers. These impellers are called the turbine and the stator. One is secured to the converter housing and matches the speed of the engine, the other is connected to the transmission drive to control the speed of the transmission. The two spins independently of each other, but fluid coupling connects them together. What this means, is when the engine is at low rpm, like when you’re sitting at a stop light, it only takes light pressure on the brakes to keep the car from moving, as the force exerted between the turbine and stator is minimal. However, when you hit the gas, more fluid is pumped in and the turbine spins faster, as it’s connected to the engine. The force of this fluid being pumped against the stator causes an immense increase in force exerted on the stator, or torque, which causes the stator to spin, and thereby causes the transmission to turn, powering your wheels.

So basically, the TC is comprised of two spinning parts; the turbine that spins with the engine, and exerts force through fluid coupling onto the stator, transferring power to it and in effect the transmission.

Problems arise when the TC is mounted incorrectly, the parts inside wear out or begin to slip, or the TC isn’t getting enough fluid. Transmission slipping, lag when shifting into gear, vibration, and grinding noises are all symptoms of a bad torque converter; however, all of these symptoms can be caused by other things as well. Torque converters are actually very reliable, so it’s best to have a professional take a look before jumping to any conclusions.

For any and all of your transmission repair and maintenance needs, we have you covered. At Permian Basin Transmission, Inc, we offer the best transmission service shop in Odessa, with top quality parts and professional mechanics, who can address any of your transmission related concerns. Call or come by any time.


Thank you for visiting Permian Basin Transmission, Inc in Odessa, TX, where we are known as the transmission experts who can keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer here in Odessa, Midland, Andrews, Abilene Texas!

Schedule your appointment today (432) 561-8585 or REQUEST APPOINTMENT HERE.

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