99 E430 Transmission Problem & Resolution

Hi all,
My transmission (722.6 and late 1998 build) had a problem (74k miles) where I noticed slippage/(difficulty engaging) starting from a stop particulary heading up an incline (even modest ones and I was in the
"S" mode). When I slowed to a stop entering my garage and my rear wheels came to rest just before the concrete edge or "lip", I had to really crank up the rpm just to get over it to move forward. Needless to say, I was "somewhat" concerned that the tranny would engage at the wrong moment and my car just might end up in the family room.
I took it to my trusted indenpendent shop who sublet the job to another shop whose $10,000 MB diagnostic machine spat out "electrical relay problem" (this was relayed to me by the first shop).
A day later, the repair bill showed that they repaired the bad "electrical plate" and replaced oil (8) + filter + gasket for $730. Transmission oil was not bad and didn't show abuse. I am happy to report that the car regained the sure touch starting from stops.
Question for the gurus, any idea what was replaced? I thought plates were mechanical items and that only the electrical stuff like the often mentioned valves or sensors generated fault codes. As I would like to keep the car for a long time, would I have been better off with transmission replacement (the ones with steel needle bearings) and take the BIG hit now instead of many small ones in the future? TIA.
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Sounds like they changed the selenoids that controls the shifting.
Don't worry about it... just keep driving your car. I estimated people who drives in suburban area usually gets about 160,000 miles before getting to a rebuild point.
People who drive on highway all the time gets about 250,000 miles on their tranny before a rebuild.
People in the city are gets about 105,000 miles.
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That makes sense. Google results for DTC codes for electronic transmission shows solenoid valve or sensor problems but not "plate" problem.
Hopefully I can go another 100K miles before I need any more transmission work. Thanks Tiger.

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