How to Fix Torque Converter Problems (Signs of a bad torque converter) symptoms of a bad torque converter

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Find the solution to bad torque converter problems, including the symptoms of a bad torque converter and even torque converter replacement cost.

Certain faults in the car can actually be detected and fixed without visiting a car technician/mechanic. Although, it may require some wealth of experience.

One of the very and most common faults in a car is the car torque converter issue. It is quite common and the cause sometimes cannot be traced easily.

While driving, all of a sudden you heard a strange noise and then you notice the movement of the car slowing down. Well, there is every possibility is a torque problem.

How to Fix Torque Converter Problems (Signs of a Bad Torque Converter) Symptoms of a Bad Torque Converter

The torque converter is one of the numerous car problems that car owners often experience. The sign and cause and how to fix the torque converter is our point of discussion.

The torque converter problem in simple terms can be described as a lock-up. The torque converter is the part that allows fluids to pass from the engine to the transmission.

Torque Converter Noise: Bad Torque Converter Noise

Is car torque problem a big issue? Firstly, it is important you know they work and how the torque works.

A sound torque converter handles how much fluid is passed on to the transmission area and allows your engine to work optimally. Also, watch the above video for other Torque Converter Noise to guide you more.

When the torque is not functioning properly, it could lead to shudder sensation and slipping.

Car torque converter problems do not just develop. One or two reasons might have caused the shakeup.

Most times, not using the right fluid for the car can lead to this problem. Now, how to detect when the car has developed a torque problem would have you look up to these signs.

When you see or hear any of the listed signs then it is likely a torque fault.

Symptoms of a Bad Torque Converter

Symptoms of torque convertor problems can include any of the following:

1. Strange noise while driving.

When you notice some whining kind of sound and it keeps reoccurring, this can be a torque problem. For you to replace or fix it depends on how badly it is damaged.

2. Shuddering:

This can be described as vibrations or jerking of the car while driving. The experience can be annoying. Such vibrations can cause serious trouble for the torque converter.

3. Slipping of fluid into the transmission.

This is one of the obvious reasons that it is a torque problem. Slipping of fluids into the transmission is as a result that it is not able to handle fluids properly. It is either too much or too little fluids will enter into the transmission. Hence, causing the gears to become slippery, thereby it will result to the car not accelerating well.

Also, when the car decreases in acceleration, it would also affect the fuel consumption of the car.

4. Overheating.

You can notice that your car is overheating from the temperature gauge. When your car is overheating, it can cause the car not to run smoothly too. You should fix this as soon as possible. It could be that the fluids have decreased to the barest minimum resulting in the hotness. With this, it will struggle to transfer power from the engine to the transmission.

Additional Signs of a bad torque converter

On some occasion, you might not experience any of the above symptoms listed to show your converter is bad but below are some other signs that might indicate that your converter has a problem.

You should also look out for these so too according to too 1

 1. Car Gears in the Transmission Slips

If you are experiencing slippery car gears, then you know that you may be having an issue with your car converter. If there isn’t enough pressure to control the flow of the hydraulic transmission fluid, too much or too little will get into the transmission and cause the gears to slip as it shifts. This can often be due to low or bad fluid as well, so be sure to check that first.

2. Your Car Doesn’t Accelerate Properly

With gear slippage, you may also feel a loss of acceleration. This is because a torque converter controls hydraulics, and if it’s bad, it won’t allow enough pressure to go to the transmission and this causes the car to accelerate poorly.

3. Your Car Doesn’t Shift Gears Easily

Similar to gear slippage, if the flow of your transmission fluid is compromised, you might have a hard time shifting gears at all. The transmission might even strain as it shifts.

4. Your Transmission Surges or Lags

Again, because a bad torque converter means that your flow of transmission fluid isn’t what it’s supposed to be, you can also have issues will transmission surges or lags while you drive. This will be especially noticeable at times when you’re maintaining a consistent speed.

5. Your Car Shudders

When driving at a lower speed, around 30 to 45 miles per hour, you may feel a shudder, as if you’re driving over bumps. One thing that might cause this is a bad torque converter.

6. Your Fluid Is Dirty

Check your transmission fluid. If there are a lot of black flecks in it, your torque converter clutches could be the problem. Drain the fluid and replace it once you have addressed the issue to make sure there isn’t another cause.

How to Test for Torque Problems.

The best way to test your torque and ensure it is in good condition is to use the right fluids for your car.

 Then, this aspect might require you meet with a service technician to run a proper test/diagnosis on the car.

How to detect/diagnose torque converter problems.

Arriving at a conclusion that it is torque fault actually, can be tough. However, one or two tips can help out.

Sometimes, the problem might not be the transmission but would have you replace your torque converter completely.

First, to diagnose the fault, you will leave the engine on and allow it for some minutes. Step on the gas slightly.

Here are the other steps to take:

  • 1. Start the car and allow it to run for a few minutes while you switch to the next step
  • 2. Press the gas lightly for few minutes
  • 3. Move to the brake, put the car into drive
  • 4. Try to engage the gears
  • 5. Then drive. While driving, try to see if you hear any strange noise. Try to listen attentively to check if the sound is still there or has gone off.

How to fix torque converter problems

First, ensure it is not a transmission fault. Once, the fault has been diagnosed, then try any of these methods.

  • Damaged needle bearings: 

One of the problems is when there is a damaged needle bearing. The needle bearing helps the metal stator, impeller and turbine so that it can turn freely. If there is a fault, that is when you start hearing strange noise while driving as a result of metal to metal contact. It then create metal chips that the transmission fluid picks up and cycles around the transmission.

  • Damaged torque converter clutches

A damaged torque converter clutch should be replaced.


  • 1. If your current transmission is faulty, please, replace it
  • 2. Use the recommended fluids for your car and use it adequately
  • 3. If your transmission fluid is dirty, drain the fluid and replace it.              

Please also watch this video

Torque Converter Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing your torque converter is highly dependent on whether you are:

  • 1 Replacing it yourself
  • 2. You are hiring a mechanic or go to a car repair shop.

Replacing it Yourself

If you are hiring a mechanic, you should be budgeting anything around the 150 to $500 and if you are hiring mechanic or

The major bulk of the money will not be going to purchasing the torque converter itself, because the torque converter is not that expensive. The torque converter itself cost $150 to $350.

But the major experiences is going to labor because take about 4 to 10 hours of work by an experienced mechanic to it replaced which is lot of time.

So if can do it yourself then that is a huge saving for you.

You are hiring a mechanic or go to a car repair shop.

If you are taking the car to repair shop, then you should be estimating about $500 to a $1000 for the Torque converter replacement.


I hope this video has helped you see how to solve torque converter problems. We have shown you the symptoms of a bad torque converter to help you know if you have a bad torque converter

The signs of a bad torque converter include and but not limited to slippery gear, overheating, acceleration issues and many more. Please refer to the section applicable.  Torque converter replacement cost was also estimated for you.

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