46rh Transmission Problems You Need To Know

Are you concerned about some 46rh transmission problems?

Perhaps you are looking for a new transmission. Yet, you want to make sure that it is generally problems-free and can do the job right. In this case, you may have come across the 46rh transmission and wonder if it is any good.

Transmission problems do arise eventually no matter how good the unit is. That is simply the case, even with the 46rh transmission. This is a 4-speed automatic transmission that also comes by the names 518 or A518 and was developed by Chrysler. 

The 46rh is the 46re’s hydraulic version. It utilizes a throttle valve and a mechanical governor. Then, it was adapted to be a 4-speed transmission, which comes with an overdrive assembly. 

Find out what the common 46rh transmission problems are and whether this unit is worth your time and money. Let’s dive right into it.

46rh transmission problems

Common 46rh Transmission Problems

The 46rh has been around since the 1990s, and it was an upgrade to the older 44rh. This transmission was designed for light duty trucks, as well as V8 engine-equipped vans. It uses hydraulics for the gear shift controls, and it is a 4-speed type of automatic transmission.

It is also computer-controlled, and this communicates with the transmission when it is time to shift gears depending on the sensors’ input. Several vehicles use the 46rh transmission such as the Dodge Ram 2500, 3500, and 1500, and also the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yet, there are certainly some issues with this transmission. One of them includes the inability to hold the gears when carrying heavy loads.

Additionally, there were concerns with gear slipping while driving. There are many reasons behind such problems such as poor quality control that happen during the manufacturing process, as well as faulty parts and poor transmission installation.

Thus, if you are experiencing issues with your 46rh transmission, it is important to try a few techniques to address the problem. You can start by checking the fluid level and be sure it is full. But if it turns out to be full and the problem still exists, you may have to flush and refill the transmission fluid. By doing so, you can eliminate some contaminants or debris in it, which are responsible for these issues. However, if after flushing you still experience problems, you may have to replace your transmission filter. This should help with eliminating these issues and have the transmission working properly as it should.

Additional Facts About The 46rh Transmission

The 46rh transmission is used in various Chrysler vehicles with model years 1989 up to 1993. It has some similarities with the 42le transmission albeit some differences. For instance, the 46rh has a more heavy duty build and is capable of more power, as compared to the 42le.

Moreover, the 46rh is equipped with a higher first gear ratio, thus it performs better off the line. But at the same time, its fuel efficiency is not as good as the 42le. Therefore, the 46rh tends to overheat when pushed to its limits.

A number of 46rh transmission problems have been reported with the Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, particularly the ones made in 2009 and 2010. Among the issues reported include shifting problems and even as worse as transmission failure. Furthermore, these issues have been noted among older vehicles or trucks with a high mileage.

When these problems arise, the common solution is to rebuild their vehicles completely. Some even need to have the vehicle replaced even if it is not even that old – only about tens of thousands of miles. This is why if you encounter these problems, it is best to coordinate with Chrysler to have the issue addressed well.

For instance, the Customer Satisfaction Notification by Chrysler was designed for RAM 1500 truck model years 2009 to 2012. It offers an extended coverage related to repairs due to transmission problems. In case your vehicle is still covered by the original factory warranty, you need to reach out to the customer service at Chrysler to ask if they can cover replacement or repair costs.

There are a few other vehicles that use the 46rh transmission such as the Dodge Durango, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Dodge Dakota. The transmission is suitable for 4WD and rear-wheel drive vehicles. With electronic controls and overdrive gear, it can handle a decent amount of load.

In fact, its maximum torque capacity is at 450 lb-ft, which is quite impressive. While there are debates on whether it is reliable or not, it is true that it does have some issues worth looking into. Some of these problems arise among older models of vehicles while others can show up even sooner than later. 

As for the build, however, it is quite impressive with its aluminum bellhousing and cast iron case. Thus, it is designed to last a long time.  No wonder it is regarded for its performance.

Read More: Causes And Fixes For Transmission Slipping But No Codes


Overall, the 46rh transmission is indeed a workhorse – solidly built and dependable.

However, if you experience issues with the 46rh transmission, be sure to determine the cause of the problem to obtain the best solution possible. Start by checking the fluid level since having an insufficient amount can cause problems. Then, you may also have to change or flush the fluid if it is contaminating.

Additionally, you may want to adjust the shift points. This sometimes helps those who encounter issues with their 46rh transmission. But if none of these tips work, it may be time to have the transmission replaced. Check if your vehicle is still under warranty and if the coverage includes the cost for the transmission replacement. 

But no matter what the issue may be, it is best to have these addressed sooner than later. Your transmission impacts overall driving experience and the performance of your vehicle. So, it is important to never disregard any signs of problems for your safety and peace of mind.

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