Would a Bad Torque Convertor Cause Vibration?

by Marcus Baker
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New car petrol engines image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com

A torque converter is a round object between the engine and transmission of automatic vehicles. It serves several purposes, such as giving an engine the ability to idle as well as increasing an engine's torque. When a torque converter goes bad, there are a number of things that happen.


Noise coming from a vehicle transmission could be due to problems with the torque converter. A torque converter has needle bearings inside. When these bearings wear out, they can cause transmission noise unless the transmission is in neutral in which case the noise temporarily stops.


Lockup torque converters were added to many newer-model vehicles to help with fuel economy. However, vibration problems can happen when these torque converters go bad. The vibration felt is known as "lockup shudder" and may occur due to a bad engine or transmission as well.


Torque converters have a one-way clutch that can jam and prevent the converter from circulating fluid correctly. This can cause a vehicle to lose power at higher speeds such as those reached when traveling on the interstate. It can also cause an engine to overheat at cruising speeds.

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