Your torque converter is a vital part of your automatic transmission. It is what allows fluid to be transferred and it acts as a clutch for an automatic. Without the torque converter, you would not be able to run your engine and be stopped in the park, so it is important. When it malfunctions, this can cause a whole host of problems for your transmission. Here are a few common torque converter problems.
Often one of the first signs that your torque converter is failing is that it will start to slip. This is because the torque converter controls how much fluid is pumped through the transmission. If this balance is disrupted, then it will cause the gears to slip. This can also cause a serious drop in fuel mileage, so if you notice your mileage is dropping and your transmission is randomly slipping, then it could be your torque converter. Note that it should seem to slip randomly. If it only shifts in one gear, then it is probably not the torque converter. A common cause of this is a failing torque converter clutch. This will prevent adequate fluid transfer.
This will usually happen between 30 and 45 miles per hour but can happen at any speed. It will be similar to driving with poorly balanced tires or over a rough road. Often a shudder will come and go, so if you notice your vehicle shuddering, then it will probably happen again. You will want to have your transmission checked out by a professional at the first signs of a shudder. This will help you detect it early, avoid breaking down, and hopefully save some money on the repairs.
If your transmission is slipping, or if your car is shuddering when you are driving between 30 and 45 miles per hour then you may want to have your transmission checked. The longer you wait, the more damage it can cause. By addressing and taking care of a problem early, you prevent it from becoming a larger problem.