Thanks for the welcome, WS...
Yeah, the solonoid replacement is probably gonna fix it.
Its a dealer only part and goes for around $450 + airfreight from Germany...grrrrrr
BTW, this is not my first Bimmer. My "beater " is a 1992 525 touring wagon...I also owned a 1985 Euro (small bumper grey market) M6 that dynoed at 365hp...one of my favorite cars ever ever ever. That is until I handgrenaded the top end on a missed shift. But dayum was it fun for the 2 years I had it....loved smoking detroit pony cars with it.
My current toys are a daily driven 87 911 Carrera and a 76 911 with a 3.0 SC motor that I'm building into a Carrera 3.0 replica.
Back to the 318ti....I'm gonna take it to my tech guy and double check the fluid levels before I try the solonoid.