The torque converter of any car is, in general, a hydraulic pump which links the engine with transmission. There are different components inside a torque converter which use vanes, resembling turbines, for acting on transmission fluid to form a fluid coupling, and providing the optimum fluid pressure for the transmission. The signs which tell that there is a problem with the torque converter of your car are almost similar to the symptoms of a faulty transmission.
Here are a few symptoms that can help you to detect a faulty torque converter:
Audible Hints: The torque converter may emit different sounds when suffering from a glitch. At first, it may be a whine resembling a power-steering pump with low fluid. The stator inside the assembly has an array of clutches that use a type of overrun mechanism. The clutches cause a rattling noise when bad and the sound can be detected better when the transmission is in gear.
Weak Acceleration and Spillage: When output pressure drops significantly from a torque converter, the transmission begins to slip. This can result in general power loss when the vehicle is in operation, especially during acceleration. You will require to address this crisis as soon as possible to prevent friction material of the transmission from wearing out prematurely. Slippage may also be caused failing converter clutch, which leaves only the effect of fluid coupling.
Shifting Symptoms: Delayed or soft shifts can also be a sign that pressure output from a torque converter is low. You will notice that the crisp and nice feeling of transmission getting shifted and engaged properly is gone. It will require you to raise rpm of the engine for increasing pressure output from the torque converter so that the transmission shifts into gear. The same thing will be needed for engaging when you start from a halt.
Speed Variations: Variable output from a converter can also cause a transmission to boost and reduce speed of the vehicle without any change in the throttle as hydraulic pressure keeps altering. You may feel a sudden shudder due to speed variations caused by a faulty converter. It can be dangerous to drive a vehicle with this condition and you should avoid operating it until the repairs are done.
Most auto repairers in Ireland may ask you to have a bad torque converter replaced because the unit may cause transmission fluid to leak even after servicing and give rise to dangerous driving situations. But make sure that your car is being checked with diagnostic tools bought from a Launch official dealer in Ireland, because these tools will be able to detect the problems in the converter and make your ride more safe.