E46 Electronic Transmission Control Module Problem

My 2002 330xi has a slipping transmission. A light came on inside the gear selection display on the dash (a large round gear with an exclamation point inside the circle) ......not a good thing, I'm sure.
When I put it in drive, and give it gas it sounds like it's in neutral. Car moves forward slowly with lots of rpm's, but not a lot of forward progress. When it finally gets up to about 30 or 40mph seems to work okay, but from a dead stop it moves ahead very slowly with lots of rpm's. Feels like I'm driving a manual and letting the clutch out very slowly (too slowly).
My owner's manual says it's a problem with the electronic transmission control module (Page 67).
This one sounds expensive.
Any ideas?
How much does a new transmission control module cost?
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I've run into this a couple of times before with other vehicle makes...the first, and least expensive, step to take is to check your automatic transmission fluid level. There has to be a sufficient amount of fluid in the transmission case to provide adequate pressure...if not, the symtoms you describe will occur.
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Ignore that. You've got mechanical problems in the form of a slipping clutch - not electronic ones. And even if an electronics fault had initially cause the clutch to slip it's now toast.
--
*What happens if you get scared half to death twice? *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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If the electronics discover a problem, it puts the box into limp home mode. This is very similar to snow mode (in slightly earlier switch mode boxes). Whilst this results in poor performance* the symptoms you describe sound like you have worn out a band and / or the fluid has run out, so it does sound expensive.
* a neighbour offered me a lift one day when my car was having a service. Whilst she dropped something off I noticed that she had accidentally engaged snow mode (a manual setting on her Renault). I switched it off, and asked her how the car felt. "So much more responsive - what have you done?"
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Tom wrote:

Well, after talking to one BMW dealership and a second BMW independent repair shop......the transmission needs to be replaced. I considered the 'fix it' approach versus the 'replace it' approach and am worried that if I dump $2000 into this thing for a fix it might crap out again in 6 months. But the replace option gives me a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty from BMW. I contacted BMW North America and pleaded my case. They're giving me a 50% discount on a new transmission (car is a 2002 with 82,000 miles....out of warranty). I'll still spend between $2000 and $3000 but as of yesterday I was looking at $4000 to $5000. Love those Steptronics, but I guess they do break. Tom
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