Torque Converters

Torque Converters And Their Functions

If manual cars use clutch, automatic cars use torque converters. A torque converter is a fluid coupling mechanism that allows the engine to spin independently from the transmission. Torque means power in the automobile’s dictionary. Torque converter then is literally a power converter.

There are four different torque converter parts: pump, turbine, stator, and transmission fluid. The transmission fluid provides the converter the high performance power to do its job for fluid coupling. The pump acts as a centrifuge. It works pretty much like a washing machine. As the pump spins, the transmission fluid is flung to the torque converter’s outer part. As the transmission fluid is flung outside, a vacuum is created at the center which further draws more fluid toward it. The turbine, on the other hand, causes the fluid to change direction, which in turn also causes the turbine to spin. Now if the transmission fluid hits the pump, it would cause the engine to slow down, thus wasting energy. To prevent this, a typical torque converter has stator. It redirects the transmission fluid so it does not hit the torque converter pumps. The stator dramatically increases the efficiency of any torque converter.

Working together, these four torque converter parts ensure that the torque converter function well. There are five specific functions that converters do. It provides multiple torque or power generated by the engine. It works like a clutch that transmits engine torque. It absorbs vibration of the vehicle’s engine, smooths out the engine’s rotation, and drives oil out of the hydraulic control system.

Like the other parts of any vehicle, these torque converter parts are also prone to wear and tear. However big or small, any damage on them means the owner of the vehicle is in for some torque repair. Do not forget to check that everything is well lubricated so that the converters move smoothly. For instance, as what we have stated awhile ago, the turbine is an essential component of the transmission torque converter. It is what connects the input shaft when the torque converter is mounted to the transmission. Normally damage to this part ensues a replacement of the whole transmission torque converter.

Another common problem is stator clutch seizure. Stator clutch seizure happens when the blades of the stator become locked together preventing it from rotating during the coupling phase. This trouble is usually resolved through either complete torque rebuild or re-installation of your torque converter.

One of the minor but vital parts of converters is the torque converter clutch. It acts an electronic clutch that engages the engine and the powertrain or the part that generates power and delivers it to the road surface. The torque converter clutch is also known as a lock up converter. It slips and makes idle the car so it does not move. However, it never completely engages the way manual transmission car clutch can. Little slips cause inefficiency. Expect that manual transmission cars have higher performance level and better mileage than automatic ones.

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