1993 BMW is transmission control light

Hi
I have a 1993 BMW 318 is, with about 150000 miles on it. It drives well, transmission shifts very well, as far as I can tell. But sometimes, on
start-up the transmission control light comes on and the vehicle can't be driven like this. It goes into limp mode and doesn't shift from 3rd.
I try to start a couple times and the light goes out. Then you can drive it normally.
I had the mechanic read the code and he said theres a leak in the tranny and it must be replaced, to the tune of about $2000.
Whats weird is it only happens on start-up, and infrequently. Its never happened while driving...
Any advice about this would be appreciated...
Thanks, Alan
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This can be due to a low supply voltage. I'd check the car's battery is OK.
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