[330d automatic] Safe-Gears Only alarm

Hello guys,
I have got a 330d (January 2002), automatic.
I decided to take my car on a business trip to Scotland (what a nutter! I know). I have been in Scotland for 3 days and it is cold. When I start up
the car in the morning, no problem, temperature gauge is low, 1st gear all right, 2nd gear.... takes a while to shift, it goes up to 3000rpm, 3rd gear same story. (it might even go from 1st to 3rd jumping 2nd, not sure). The first 2 days behaved like that.
Today, the 3rd day, the car died and I got the safety-gear only alarm, damn! I drove the car for 5 mins in safe gear mode. I stopped, put the car in Neutral gear for 5 mins, the temperature went to its normal position. Stopped the engine, start up again and the alarm went off. I drove with it 30 miles with no problem, as usual.
It has only happenned in the morning when it's cold, the car has always been looked after in Spain, good weather conditions, never problem with anti freezer or temperature or anything.
Could it be the antifreezer that I've got is not suitable for UK, colder than Spain...? I hope nothing more sinister is going on...
Any help appreciatted, thanks in advance.
--
I.U. Hernandez
" I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me,
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Staying in second on a cold day from a cold start is a design feature - to warm up the catalyst as quickly as possible. Since I live in town, I don't know what happens if you have a cold start and go straight onto the highway where you could exceed 30 mph. IIRC, the gearbox won't use 5th gear either until the engine is up to temperature.
--
*24 hours in a day ... 24 beers in a case ... coincidence? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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