Why does my torque converter shudder?

The torque converter is what allows the engine to run in automatic vehicles while at a complete stop. It’s basically a hydraulic pump that ties together the engine and transmission. As automatic transmission cars don’t use a clutch to completely disengage, fluid coupling allows the engine to spin independently of the transmission. The torque converter is a sealed in a strong housing containing four major components; a pump, turbine, stator, and transmission fluid. So, what causes yours to rattle?

It’s important to note that diagnosing a failing torque converter can be a complicated task. There are several things that can lie behind a rattle at the front of your vehicle. Narrowing down the sound to the torque converter requires acute listening and observation, and even then, it’s hard to be certain. The stator within the assembly uses a series of clutches that will cause a rattling noise when worn. Initially, you may notice a whine, or a light rattle while idle. If you feel a tremble when driving around 30 to 45 miles an hour this could be an indication that your torque converter is going bad. A torque shudder, especially on smooth surfaces can be another symptom. Exceeding towing capacity, internal components becoming worn, and the converter not matching the stock engine can all accelerate torque converter failure. Due to the location of the converter, it can be a very expensive part to replace. Due to being a sealed unit, the torque converter has to be serviced or replaced as one entire piece. With a part this important, bring your vehicle to a trusted shop such as Ferber’s Tire and Auto today!