Torque Converter Lockup Kit: What They Are and Why You Need One

July 13, 2021

It is no secret that automatic transmissions tend to be better for off-road driving. An automatic allows you to control the accelerator and brake without having to focus on the clutch or your gears, which can help when climbing steep inclines or rocky crags.

When you have a manual car, dealing with the clutch on an uphill and having to stop to maneuver around boulders or rocks can become difficult, if not downright dangerous. In an automatic, stopping does not pose any risk as the motor continues to run while you are stationary.

However, whether you drive off-road or not, we recommend that clients with automatic cars invest in a torque converter lockup kit. What is a torque converter lockup kit, and why do you need one? Keep reading to find out!

What is a Torque Converter?

A torque converter serves the same purpose in an automatic car as a clutch does in a manual car. However, unlike a clutch, a torque converter uses a fluid engagement instead of a mechanical engagement. It is a fluid coupling situated between the transmission and the engine, and holds three important components:

  • Pump
  • Turbine
  • Stator

The torque converter is usually full of transmission fluid, which is responsible for transferring the power generated in your engine to your transmission.

Torque converter lockup kits - SUV driving on grass.

What is a Torque Converter Lockup Kit?

Torque converter lockup kits can save your engine, and your wallet, in the long run, if you use your vehicle for towing, touring, or rigorous off-road driving.

A torque converter lockup kit keeps the transmission fluid cool and alleviates the strain placed on the coupling itself. If the engine tries to spin more RPM than the engine, the torque converter coupling struggles to keep up with the demand and will produce extra heat, but a lockup kit maintains a cooler temperature, even when your engine is working hard.

Benefits of Torque Converter Lockup Kits

Modern automatic transmissions are re-active systems, meaning that they do not automatically lockup or unlock the converter until certain conditions are met. When your engine is under duress or working harder than usual, jumping between converter lockup and unlock can create excessive heat in your engine and result in considerable amounts of wasted power. A torque converter will keep the fluid in the converter coupling cool and help your engine perform better, even at higher RPMs.

Torque converters automatically ‘slip’ as a clutch in a manual would, which is ideal for off road, technical rock driving because it means that you do not have to. Instead of gingerly manipulating the clutch on an incline, the torque converter will engage for you, allowing the transmission to move, if the vehicle is not in park or neutral.

These driving environments can put a lot of stress on your engine, which is why a torque converter lockup kit is so useful. It will increase the durability and longevity of your engine, and potentially save you thousands in repair costs.

Hear It from the Team

The Just Autos team receives many queries about lockup kits and whether they are necessary. The need for transmission lockup kits becomes evident in situations like towing your caravan or trailer downhill, as relying on just your vehicle’s brakes can lead to a disaster. That is where having a more direct drive from the transmission can save your day – and your brakes.

Watch our video below for more information on torque converter lockup kits and how our experienced team can help you. Contact us to book your vehicle in!

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