Mechanics

Torque Converter

Easy to understand guide on how an automotive torque converter works, this information pertains to all automatic transmission vehicles.

A torque converter acts much like a clutch would in a manual transmission vehicle, connecting and disconnecting the engine from the transmission to allow the engine to run while the vehicle is stopped. Designed as a fluid coupler this unit sits at the front of the transmission and bolts to the rear of the engine using a flex plate. As engine RPM increases transmission fluid is coupled to create a solid barrier which drives the transmission input shaft. Once at cruising speeds, a lock up solenoid is used to activate the internal clutch to reduce slippage and increase mileage.


Torque Converter Cut Away

A torque converter is subject to the condition of the transmission fluid, if this fluid becomes burnt or dirty it will impair the converter operation. Learn more


Automatic Transmission Service

The torque converter also has the ability to multiply torque when the engine is under load. Fluid heat is naturally generated by the action of the torque converter which requires a cooler to maintain operation which is located inside the radiator.


Transmission Cooler

AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-03-09)