Updated at: 17-07-2022 - By: Lucas

When employed in maritime propulsion systems, the torque converter is a hydraulic device that separates the engine from the gearbox, as well as in automobiles with automatic gearboxes.

This is a question that a few car buffs repeatedly posed.

Is a torque converter necessary for manual transmissions?

To get the answer to this question, keep reading.

The torque converter’s primary role in automobiles is to keep the engine running when the vehicle comes to a halt. The converter’s maximum torque is delivered at medium-high speeds, while its lowest torque is felt at low revs.

Engines that are about to come to a halt while the device is engaged barely transfer any torque and almost split apart, preventing a complete shutdown.

Drivers are required to engage the clutch in a manual transmission vehicle in order to perform a similar function to the automatic gearbox. However, the torque converter is completely automated.

Torque converters are not used in manual transmission systems. When shifting gear, the driver has to utilize a clutch instead of a paddle shifter. Coupling fluid in an automatic transmission allows for automatic shifting based on fluid characteristics.

Regimes and operation of torque converters

Torque Converter-1

The automatic transmission with a torque converter has three modes of operation.

stalling, accelerating, and maintaining a steady speed Investigate each of these scenarios.

Stall regime

A torque transmission will occur if the engine is still running when you stop the car. By pressing the brake, the car will come to a halt.


At this speed, the car’s pump rotates faster than the turbine, resulting in higher torque for the gearbox. By delivering higher torque, the engine energises the oil’s flow.

Cruise speed

In this speed, the pump and turbine operate at about identical speeds, with very little power being delivered.

How do torque converters work?

Torque Converter-2

There are three parts to the torque converter: a toroidal chamber, an oil pump, and an oil cooler.

A centrifugal pump.

An impulsor, also known as a thruster, connects the motor shaft to the flow of oil contained in it.

A turbine, integral with the driven part

This is where the oil flow is collected and the transmission of power to the transmission is received.

The reactor, integral with the gearbox

This device is responsible for reversing the flow of oil from the turbine back to the impeller. As a result of this third component, the converter can provide a torque for the turbine that is greater than the impeller’s input torque right out of the gate.

In essence, the pump is a rotating wheel with radially oriented vanes that use centrifugal forces to propel fluids out of the system.

Angular momentum is also acquired by the liquid. In the same way, the turbine has a paddle wheel. The turbine blades draw the liquid back into the center of the device after it has been pushed outward by the pump.

The fluid is released from the turbine once more, completing the cycle. Although the turbine portion remains stationary, the fluid’s spiral motion generates torque.

The device’s name comes from the fact that the output torque might be greater than the input torque.

It is possible to transform low torque at high angular speed to very high torque at very low angular speed.

Low input shaft speed causes the device to become inefficient (also known as “stalled”) and only a portion of the input torque to be output.

Although the torque converter can be used as a substitute for a clutch, there is a crucial difference. It’s impossible to transfer torque from the wheels to a running engine if the engine is off.

As a result, automatic-transmission automobiles feature a parking function that disables the transmission mechanically.

The torque converter has a slip, which results in a loss of energy in the form of heat dissipated by the fluid in the system. In modern converters, a mechanical coupling between the pump and turbine is mechanically joined when the onboard computer recognizes that the vehicle is driving at a constant speed.

Were there cars that had a manual transmission with a torque converter?

With a torque converter, no manual transmission cars existed. The torque converter-equipped automatic transmission was not as flawless as we’ve come to expect.

After almost seventy years of continuous development, the CVT has risen to the top of the list of the most widely used automatic transmissions.

The introduction of a lock-up clutch in this automatic gearbox was one of the advances that time and experience in mechanics have made to this gearbox.

The addition of a parking brake, which was previously absent from torque converter automatic transmissions, is the second current day enhancement. This feature prevents the transmission from shifting while the vehicle is stopped for an extended period of time.

Can you put a torque converter on a manual transmission?

A torque converter is not compatible with a manual transmission. This is due to the fact that manual transmissions require the driver to shift gears in order to maintain a smooth ride.

A fluid coupling idea is employed by the automatic transmission to ensure that the gears are continuously shifted in response to fluid conditions.


The torque converter-equipped automatic transmission is by far the most prevalent. The torque converter, which was developed in the United States in the 1950s, is used to replace the traditional clutch in manual transmissions.

An automated transmission with a torque converter has the initial advantage of reducing component wear.