If your transmission is slipping or making strange noises when shifting gears, you’re probably worried you might need costly transmission repairs or even need to have it replaced. The good news is that some of these signs actually indicate a bad torque converter, and torque converter replacement is much cheaper. Torque converters are only present in automatic transmissions and CVT transmissions; the clutch serves the same purpose in a standard or manual transmission as the torque convert in an automatic.
20 Years of Experience Fixing Transmission Torque Converter Problems in Houston & Katy
Look out for the following signs of a bad transmission torque converter problem.
Sudden Deceleration when you try to accelerate
Vehicle slow to accelerate
TCM Failure Error Code
Car or truck overheating
Car jumping forward after shifting
Vehicle shakes as if driving on rocky terrains between 30 – 40 mph
Another optimistic aspect to note — not only is the cost to replace a torque converter much less than that of major transmission repair, it doesn’t take as long. This is Houston, we know you need your car back.
Torque Converter Replacement Cost
The average torque converter replacement cost in the United States is between $650 and $1050. The price varies, depending on the make, model, and warranty status of your vehicle.
For example, the cost of the part alone (before labor and tax) for a Volvo XC90 torque converter is about $1280. By stark contrast, a Ford Expedition torque converter costs under $150.
How Long to Replace Torque Converters?
If your vehicle needs the converter replaced, time is not something you have on your side. The part for your specific vehicle will need to be ordered, and work cannot begin until they have arrived. Once the new torque converter parts arrive, your transmission mechanic will have to disassemble the transmission to remove the broken one, and re-assemble the transmission once the new converter is installed.
Car Stuck in 2nd or 3rd Gear? Could be a Bad Shift Solenoid
If your car is stuck in third gear or second gear and will not upshift or downshift, you have a bad shift solenoid and your vehicle’s TCM put it in limp-home mode to prevent further damage to the transmission and engine. If you suspect your vehicle is in limp mode, do not try to drive it. Call your local transmission shop to have your vehicle towed there for shift solenoid repair or replacement.
How Does a Torque Converter Work?
A transmission torque converter is a complex hydraulic system using a series of solenoids to push pressurized transmission fluid through the chamber when you press on the gas pedal. Solenoids open and close flaps to control the vehicle’s speed via tire rotation speed. Types of solenoids within a torque converter include the torque converter clutch solenoid, transmission control solenoid, lockup solenoid, and shift solenoid. Together they help an automobile’s transmission function and are necessary for it to work properly.
Can a Torque Converter be Repaired?
It is possible to repair certain parts of a transmission torque converter, but in most cases it would cost more in labor to repair than replace it. Talk to your mechanic or technician to find out all of your options.
Torque Converter Error Codes
P0740 – Bad Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction
P0741 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
The P0741 error code means the torque converter clutch circuit is malfunctioning or stuck off (closed). When the TCC solenoid fails with the solenoid flaps closed you will notice the gears slipping at mid-speeds above 35 mph (torque converter shudder). Your average mpg will decreases because when the gears slip, the engine is working harder to maintain speed and burning more fuel. Another symptom of torque converter clutch circuit malfunction is the transmission overheating.
P0742 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
When the torque converter clutch circuit is stuck on the transmission does not slip but the engine stalls and turns as your vehicle comes to a stop.
Error code P0743 indicates a problem with the TCC electrical circuit, which is sent by sensors in the PCM or ECM. Symptoms include not shifting into the highest gear needed at high speeds, and shuddering as the vehicle decelerates.
If your check engine light is showing error code P0744 the ECU and TCC are not communicating properly (or intermittently communicating). Signs other than your automobile’s check engine light reading this code include the vehicle’s inability to change gears, the engine stalling, and hard shifting.
P2769 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Low
OBD Error Code P2789 indicates that the engine may overheat either because the powertrain control module failed, the engine’s coolant is low, the wiring is bad, or the coolant degassing valve is not working.
P2770 – Torque Converter Clutch Circuit High
Code P2770 means the ECU or TCM is failing to control the transmission torque converter clutch. Check the transmission fluid level to see if it’s low, in addition to the wiring for signs of damage.
What Causes Torque Converter Problems?
The torque converter is made of four parts: turbine, stator, pump, and transmission fluid. The most common reason torque converters break, is that people fail to have regular transmission maintenance and let their transmission fluid run low, empty, or get very dirty. Don’t neglect your transmission service. If you suspect you might have a problem with your transmission or torque converter, check your transmission fluid levels first before attempting to drive to the shop. If the fluid is low, top it up possible or get your vehicle towed to avoid further damage.