What Is A Torque Converter : Parts & How Does It Work?

what is a torque converter

Automatic transmissions have been gaining popularity in vehicles for quite some time now. At present, in the field of automotive, most of the small and big vehicles are being brought with automatic transmission. Unlike manual transmission vehicles, automatic transmission vehicles do not use a clutch. Rather, an automatic transmission uses a torque converter.

In this post, you will learn about what is a torque converter, the parts of a torque converter, and how it works.

What Is A Torque Converter?

A torque converter is a type of fluid coupling in an automatic transmission that transfers the engine’s rotating power to the vehicle’s transmission and multiplies engine torque.

The torque converter is used to transfer the rotational power of the engine to the automatic transmission. The torque converter is often connected between the engine and the transmission. The torque converter has two series of blades rotating between them.

The torque converter in an automatic transmission transfers the rotating power of the engine to the transmission without any intermeshing gears. Due to this, the drive wheel of the vehicle is set in motion.

Parts Of A Torque Converter

There are three main parts to the torque converter in the automatic transmission.

1. Impeller or Pump

One part of a torque converter is the impeller or pump. A torque converter impeller is often attached to the main power shaft of the engine. The torque converter impeller rotates continuously with the power shaft of the engine. Diverter wings are fitted in the middle of the impeller.

There is automatic transmission fluid between the impellers. When the impeller engine is started, the impeller starts rotating continuously. The impeller’s diverted fins then push the transmission fluid outward due to centrifugal force as the engine rotates. The divert fins of the impeller are designed in this way.

The impeller’s divert fins direct the automatic transmission fluid toward the turbine. And the diverter fins of the impeller cause the transmission fluid to flow with greater speed and force. Fluid is converted from centrifugal force to rotational force. The impeller of the torque converter is also called the pump in the mechanical line.

2. Torque Converter Stator

The stator is placed between the impeller and the turbine of the torque converter. The main function of the torque converter stator is to send the fluid back from the turbine to the impeller at a diverted angle. when the fluid from the impeller goes to the turbine with high pressure.

And after passing through the stator, the fluid from the turbine returns to the impeller. The function of the stator is to divert the fluid back from the turbine at an angle to the direction of rotation of the impeller. The stator bends the fluid returning from the turbine at an angle of about 90 degrees.

The torque converter stator is fitted with a one-way clutch. This clutch allows the stator to rotate in one direction. And this clutch does not allow the stator to rotate in the other direction. The stator sends fluid according to the direction of rotation of the impeller.

So that faster speed can be provided by making the speed of the impeller more smooth. Because without a stator, the fluid will go back to the impeller from the turbine. Then this fluid flow will inhibit the movement of the impeller.

3. Torque Converter Turbine

The torque converter consists of a part connected to the input shaft of the turbine transmission. The turbine drives the automatic transmission through the rotation speed. The turbine has curved blades at an angle in the opposite direction from that of the impeller.

The blades of the turbine are designed in such a way that they have a curved angle. so that the turbine can be forced to rotate by the force of the flow of the fluid thrown by the impeller.

The turbine is rotated due to the centrifugal force of the fluid coming out of the impeller. When the turbine rotates, it also rotates the input shaft of the automatic transmission. An automatic lock-up clutch is mounted on the rear side of the torque converter turbine when the torque converter is at full speed. Then this automatic lock-up clutch gets engaged. thereby improving the torque efficiency of the impeller and turbine. so that the full rotational power of the engine can be fully utilized.

How Does A Torque Converter Work?

The torque converter works on the principle of centrifugal force in the automatic transmission fluid. As the torque converter impeller is connected to the main power shaft of the engine, it rotates continuously as soon as the engine is started. The impeller is fitted with curved blades. The impeller contains automatic transmission fluid.

When the impeller rotates with the power of the engine. Then the rotating blades in the impeller push the transmission fluid towards the turbine with more force through centrifugal force and the flow of fluid starts with more force as the acceleration of the engine becomes faster. After this, the fluid from the torque converter impeller reaches the torque converter turbine with greater speed.

The torque converter turbine is connected to the main input shaft of the automatic transmission. The rotating blades of the turbine are bent at opposite angles to the blades of the impeller. Due to this, the flow of transmission fluid coming from the torque converter impeller forces the turbine to rotate. As the turbine rotates, the input shaft of the automatic transmission also rotates.

Which the power of the engine is transferred to the wheels of the vehicle through the torque converter and transmission, due to which the vehicle is capable of moving. After this, the transmission fluid from the turbine of the torque converter goes back to the impeller through the stator between the impeller and the turbine.

The torque converter stator has curved blades, which turn the transmission fluid back from the turbine by 90 degrees and send it back to the impeller according to the direction of the impeller, due to which the torque of the impeller is higher.

The one-way clutch in the torque converter stator allows the stator to rotate only in one direction. and prevents it from rotating in the other direction. This process is also known as the torque multiplication function. This function of the stator of the torque converter multiplies the torque of the impeller, and the blades of the stator send the fluid back to the impeller at a set angle.

There is no adverse effect on the speed of the torque converter’s impeller. The lock-up clutch is mounted behind the turbine of the torque converter. which automatically locks the impeller and turbine when the specified torque point of the impeller and turbine is reached. So that the full power of the engine can be transmitted to the transmission without any slippage. And there should be no loss of engine power.

Torque Converter Advantages & Disadvantages

Any technique may have some advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, some advantages and disadvantages of a torque converter are as follows:

Advantages

  • This makes the vehicle comfortable to drive.
  • The torque converter in an automatic transmission prevents the vehicle from jerking.
  • The torque converter provides more torque than the clutch of a manual transmission.

Disadvantages

  • The torque converter in an automatic transmission consumes more fuel in the vehicle as compared to a manual transmission clutch.

FAQ’s

Q. Wdoes torque converter do?

A torque converter is a key component used in automatic transmissions of vehicles. The torque converter in vehicles transfers the engine’s rotational power to the driven load through the automatic transmission to the wheels. A torque converter is used to connect the power of the engine to the load.

Q. What are the symptoms of a worn torque converter?

Some of the main symptoms of a bad or worn torque converter are loss of acceleration, gear slipping, gear shifting hardness, gears not shifting at all, and automatic transmission overheating.

Q. How do I test my torque converter?

In this process, the torque converter should be checked carefully. First of all, you press the brake pedal of the vehicle and press the accelerator pedal. If your vehicle’s torque converter will be bad. Then the engine will not take a load when the accelerator pedal is pressed and the brake pedal is simultaneously pressed.

This condition indicates a bad torque converter. Don’t do this process for more than 3 to 5 secondson’t do this process for more than 3 to 5 seconds. because doing this for a long time can damage the automatic transmission of your vehicle.

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