Honda Torque Converter
A torque converter is used in automatic transmissions to enable the engine to stop while the gears in the transmission continue to move. A clutch performs this function in a manual transmission. Torque, or power, passes through the engine into the torque converter. The torque converter than “converts” the amount of torque needed to move through the wheels and move the vehicle. Read on to learn more about your Honda torque converter, what it does, how to troubleshoot any problems, and how to repair those problems should they arise.
Configuration of the Torque Converter Part One
The torque convertor is made up of a pump, turbine, stator, and transmission fluid. The pump is what sends transmission fluid into the turbine. The turbine causes the transmission to spin. The stator is responsible for the fluid flow between the turbine and the pump. The transmission fluid is necessary to lubricate all parts and for cooling purposes.
There is a clutch inside the stator that controls how it spins. It is in the middle of the torque converter and it controls the fluid from the turbine and the way in which it hits the pump. Even though the pump is always spinning faster than the turbine, they eventually do begin to spin at the same speed. When this happens, the fluid enters the pump from the turbine and the stator is bypassed.
The main purpose of the torque converter is to allow your vehicle to stop without the engine stalling. It is also responsible for providing the power you need to start moving once you are stopped. While the engine is moving faster than the transmission, higher speeds can cause the transmission to begin moving as fast as the engine. A torque converter helps regulate this difference in speed. A lockup clutch in the converter can keep the speeds regulated and inline to improve gas mileage.
Troubleshooting Honda Torque Converter Problems
One problem that may occur with a torque converter is an engine surge. It sounds exactly like what it is: a sudden surge in engine power while maintaining a certain speed. The engine light will most likely come on to let you know there is something wrong. Usually, an engine surge occurs because the rubber seals inside the torque converter have become loose and you are losing hydraulic pressure.
Another problem that may occur is that the stator inside the convertor can lock up, causing your vehicle to overheat, especially on highways or when traveling at accelerated speeds. The opposite of stator locking is stator free-wheeling, where the opposite effect takes place. The vehicle will run and handle fine in higher speeds but run out of control on lower speeds.
Finally, the torque converter itself may actually lock up and refuse to move. This is most likely due to a damaged clutch, and the vehicle will not run properly.
Replacing the Torque Converter
Underneath the vehicle, disconnect the drive shaft from the rear axle. Put the vehicle in neutral, then separate the drive shaft from the rear of the transmission. Remove the transmission fill tube and place the vehicle in park. Remove the torque converter from the fly wheel by removing the bolts that hold it in place. Release the pressure off the cross member that holds the transmission in place. Remove the bolts that hold the transmission to the engine and pull it away and down. Take the old torque converter off the input shaft on the transmission. Line the new converter up to sit in line with the input shaft and fluid pump on the transmission. Reinstall the transmission and fill with transmission fluid.
A properly working torque converter will improve the gas mileage and performance of your Honda. Knowing its function, working parts, and how to troubleshoot for potential torque converter problems is essential for the proper acceleration and maintenance of your vehicles engine. It is important that the torque converter is running in alignment with the transmission and the engine. The proper amount of fluid needs to be distributed to make sure your pump and engine are working in tandem.