All cars, whether they have manual or automatic transmissions, need a way for the engine to keep running while the automobile is stopped. If you have a manual transmission, this is accomplished using the clutch. It temporarily disconnects the engine from the transmission.

How Torque Converters Work

If you have an automatic transmission, your car has a unique part known as a torque converter. Torque converters are actually quite ingenious systems packed into a small frame. It uses a process of fluid coupling, so when your engine is turning slowly (idling), it doesn’t take much to keep your car in a stopped position. That’s why you have to keep your foot on the brake when stopping at a light or stuck in rush hour traffic.

The housing of a torque converter is connected directly to the engine’s flywheel and is able to turn at the same speed as the engine. The key components inside the torque converter are the pump, turbine, stator and transmission fluid. Without boring you with too many mechanical details, these parts all work together seamlessly to perform a vital function required in all automatic transmission vehicles.

Identifying Torque Converter Problems

There are a few signs that might point to your torque converter being a problem with your car’s performance. A bad torque converter may result in overheating, dirty transmission fluid, shuddering, slipping gears, strange noises or unusually high stall speeds. However, these issues can be indicative of various different parts failures throughout your drive train or transmission. In other words, the problem could come from several different sources.

That’s why it always pays to have an expert like Ralph’s Transmission perform a full inspection of your transmission, transfer case and any other drivetrain components. We can identify any problems and focus our repairs on the issue(s) at hand. It may be one tiny part that needs to be replaced or there may be bigger repairs needed.

Our Torque Converter Partner

One of Ralph’s Transmission’s most important vendors is Saxco Torque Converters out of San Jose. They are an exclusive provider of new and refurbished torque converters that we use in the shop every day. “I’ve been working with Saxco for many years,” says Mario Jauregui, owner of Ralph’s Transmission, your transmission service in Modesto. “I always know I can count on their converters to perform correctly for our customers.”

If you fear you might have a problem with your car’s torque converter or any of those transmission symptoms are happening, bring your car into Ralph’s Transmission in Downtown Modesto or call us at 209.526.1909. If needed, we’ll tow your car into the shop and we always perform the initial inspection for free in order to diagnose the problem before any work is done. If it is a transmission, torque converter, drive axle, driveshaft, clutch, u-joint, transfer case, differential or speedometer issue, we’ll walk you through the repair process and get it taken care of quickly so you can be back on the road!