Your car's torque converter is the component that provides the pressure that allows your transmission to shift gears. It is therefore an essential part of any vehicle, and if it malfunctions, it can greatly increase the risk of a collision occurring and the likelihood of significant mechanical damage to other parts of your vehicle. Understanding the signs of a failing torque converter makes it much easier for you to identify the problem when it first emerges so that you can have a mechanic replace the converter before it becomes a serious safety risk.
One of the first signs that a failing torque converter will exhibit is a slipping transmission. This basically means that you will shift into lower gears without changing the amount of pressure that you're placing on the gas pedal, causing you to travel slower even though you're trying to maintain your speed. This can have a huge effect on your fuel efficiency, as well, since you will have to burn more fuel to maintain your speed. This means that putting off a torque converter replacement can actually cost you more in the long run due to higher gas bills.
Surging and Lagging
Similar to the above point, a damaged or worn torque converter can cause your transmission to suddenly surge ahead or lag behind due to an inconstant flow of transmission fluid to the actual transmission. This means that sudden acceleration won't cause your transmission to shift gears, and you may suddenly shift into gear and then surge ahead with an unexpected speed boost. This greatly reduces the amount of control that you have over your vehicle's speed, and can be a safety concern while driving at high speeds or in areas with heavy traffic, so you should head to a mechanic, like those at Car And Truck Services Inc., straight away to reduce the risk of experiencing an accident.
Another indication of a torque converter that needs to be replaced is a shaking or vibration that occurs while travelling at low speeds. Since the vibrations will be originating from the transmission, they will spread through the engine and the entire vehicle, which can make it seem like you are driving over rough terrain. However, keep in mind that vibrations, even of your entire vehicle, can be caused by other issues, such as poor tire alignment or brake issues, so your torque converter is only likely to blame if you notice one of the above issues as well.