How a Torque Converter Makes It Harder to Service Your Vehicle at Home

When it comes to the mechanics of a car, one of the most crucial components is the torque converter. It is responsible for allowing the transmission to shift gears and ensuring that the engine provides enough power to move the wheels efficiently. Basically, it's a hydraulic coupling situated between the engine and the transmission and has three major components- the impeller, stator and turbine. However, this part can make the life of a DIY mechanic very difficult whenever they want to service their own automatic transmission. Why is this the case?

What Is a Torque Converter?

The impeller is a fan-like component that is connected to the engine crankshaft. When the engine runs, the impeller spins and creates fluid motion that moves the turbine. The turbine, in turn, is linked to the input shaft of the transmission. This process allows the engine's power to be transferred to the transmission to drive the wheels.

The stator, which is situated between the turbine and impeller, plays a crucial role in the process of torque conversion. The stator's fins are constructed in such a manner that redirects fluid flow from the turbine to the impeller, reducing the amount of torque converter slippage and increasing the torque being transferred to the transmission. This is achieved by limiting fluid frictional losses inside the torque converter and redirecting fluid flow in a way that increases power transfer.

When Problems Arise

However, the way that the transmission redirects that fluid can be problematic if you do not pay particular attention to servicing. The fluid moves under such high pressure that some of it can "stick" within the converter casing and become very difficult to remove when you change your transmission fluid at home.

What Can Go Wrong with Your Transmission?

While transmissions are built to last, they can wear down over time with constant use. By regularly servicing your transmission, you can extend its life and avoid costly repairs. During servicing, a trained mechanic will check for issues, change the filter and fluid, adjust the shift points and clean smaller parts. These tasks will help detect and address issues that may be affecting your car's overall performance and can also give you peace of mind knowing that you're keeping your car healthy.

Taking the Extra Steps

Crucially, the mechanic will also attach a special machine to the transmission system. This will send a purpose-made cleaning fluid under very high pressure, which will remove the stubborn fluid mentioned above. Once all the old fluid has been successfully removed, this machine will then fill the transmission system with brand-new fluid instead.

What to Do Next

Regular automatic transmission service is more than just a routine maintenance task. It's an essential component to keeping your car functioning efficiently, safely, and smoothly. By servicing your transmission regularly, you can extend its lifespan, improve the performance of your car and improve its resale value. And remember, you should never do this at home as it will only perform a limited job. Instead, take the vehicle to an experienced mechanic who will have the right machine for the task.