Torque Converter Explained


If you’re enjoying the convenience of an automatic transmission vehicle, you can thank the torque convertor for making that possible. The torque convertor operates like the clutch for a manual transmission, only it’s in an automatic transmission. It’s a fluid coupling that sits between the engine and the transmission. It multiplies engine torque yet allows the vehicle to stop without shifting the gears. The torque converter is the component that makes the automatic transmission possible.

Driving is so much simpler when our vehicle switches between gears without our manual assistance. While this makes driving simple for us, the torque convertor is performing some very complex tasks beneath our feet. The torque converter is basically made up of four pieces: an impeller, a stator, a turbine, and a clutch plate. All of them combine to form a housing that fills with fluid and spins.


The impeller acts like a pump and is connected and spins in the same direction as the engine’s crankshaft. As the impeller spins, the centrifugal force created by the blades whips fluid towards an opposite-facing turbine.


The force of this fluid causes the turbine to spin and send the fluid back to the impeller and stator. This starts a back and forth cycle, where the two components send the fluid in a circular motion. The turbine’s shaft for sending fluid out acts as the input shaft for the rest of the transmission.


The stator is a small device positioned between the impeller and the turbine. It’s kinda like the impeller because it captures liquid from the turbine, and thereby adjusts the fluid flow rate. This is caused by the particular angles of the stator blades which allows fluid to flow back at a slower rate. This will multiply the torque.

Clutch Plate

When the vehicle and the engine are operating at certain speeds, the clutch plate will lock the turbine to the impeller so that they both maintain the same rotational speeds.

The torque converter is a key component for your vehicle’s automatic transmission. It’s a complex component that requires service and attention from qualified transmission specialists. The team at L&R Transmissions in Winston Salem, NC are prepared to repair or replace any parts of your vehicle’s torque converter.

Written by L & R Transmissions

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