What Causes A Torque Converter To Fail?

So, what causes a torque converter to fail? You’ve read about torque converters and how their failure could possibly cause more critical and expensive repairs.

Well, the torque converter is as vital as the transmission system in a car. It is one of the major components that trigger a car to move.

When the torque converter fails. It could lead to transmission failure, which may also metamorphose into a bigger problem – probably, engine failure.

Hence, it is important that every driver knows the possible causes of torque converter failure, how to avoid them, and how to fix the converter if it has already gone bad.

What Causes A Torque Converter To Fail?

How To Prevent Torque Converter Failure

When a component fails in a car, there are quite so many things that could have caused that to happen.

Similarly, torque converter failure can be caused by different things; however, hereunder are the commonest causes of torque converter failure faced by most drivers.

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1. Excessive Friction Due To Bad Bearings

The torque converter used with automatic transmissions consists of five parts; impeller, stator, turbine, clutch, and bearings. Actually, the bearings are introduced in-between the parts of the converter system before being coupled up.

The essence of those bearing is to checkmate friction. Thus, when the bearing goes bad or breakdown, the internal parts of the convert would rub against each other, and if this continues for a longer time, the system may likely breakdown.

Sometimes you may hear a cracking sound when you turn on your car. A lot of drivers view this as a common sound, but that’s actually two components grinding against each other due to lack of fluids or damaged bearings.

2. Contaminated/Dirty Fluids

What actually powers the torque converter is the transmission fluid that passes through from the engine to the transmission.

When you use the wrong fluid or pour a contaminated fluid into the transmission fluid reservoir, it could cause the converter components not to function as expected.

In light of that, it is advisable to crosscheck the fluids you pour into your car’s engine to avoid wearing out some important components that are needed for the car to function properly.

3. Breakdown or Damage of Core Components

Just as mentioned prior, the torque converter consists of several parts; either of these parts can get damaged and cause the system to fail. The failure of the internal parts could be due to several possible reasons, which include wear and tear.

One of the ways to troubleshoot, to check for damage within the torque converter, is to check for oil leaks in the area where it is located.

If you could spot a leaky spot around the converter area – that’s the culprit, look out for the possible way to close up the leaky spot or replace the damaged component (if possible).

How To Fix A Bad Torque Converter

How To Fix A Bad Torque Converter

Since torque converters are relatively cheap, it is better to replace it as a whole, rather than attempting to fix its internal components individually.

However, if the issue was due to contaminated fluid, you just need to flush the transmission everything would be working fine again.

Flushing the transmission can be done using a transmission flush fluid. However, this is not recommended as the best way to clean out dirty fluid from the torque converter.

There’s a dedicated machine that flushes auto transmissions; you’d find mechanics that have the machine, engage them to do the job.

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How To Prevent Torque Converter Failure

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. It is safer to prevent damage than curing it; hence, regarding torque converter problem, below are some handy preventive tips you should know:

  • Always use the right transmission fluid and ensure that the reservoir always has sufficient fluid inside.
  • When you observe any of the symptoms of torque converter failure, act proactively
  • Service your car regularly and keep to a maintenance routine

Read Also: How To Know When Torque Converter Is Locking Up

Conclusion | Causes Of Toque Converter Failure

Still worried about what causes a torque converter to fail? Well, asides from the three causes explained above, there could be other possible things that could cause the situation.

Remember to always service your car and check for leakages each time you wash your car. Torque converter failure isn’t so much a big problem, but it can scale into a bigger problem – a challenging one indeed.