Q: what can be causing this?

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Drove the van day before No problems, next morning went to go to the store started right up drive down the road a tiny ways Loose drive still have reverse so tried shifting to 3 an L nothing I stopped reversed a few feet put back in drive it goes again then dies out so I stopped park wait a second back to drive it goes again dies out, almost seems like something is blocking a hole and when you disengage it drops whatever it is then u can go again then picks whatever it is up again... almost like if your vacuuming an something covers the hole u turn it off drop what ever is blocking the hole an go again til you pick it back up again ....Please help I need my van I have three special needs children
My car has an automatic transmission.

You are actually on the right track. With one exception, you need to check your transmission fluid level. That hole you speak of should be bathed in transmission fluid. If the fluid is too low, it will suck up what it can and then run out of fluid. The flip side of that is your fluid could be so dirty, it is doing exactly what you said. There maybe particulate residue in the transmission pan that is being picked up as you drive. It will cover the hole and then the transmission won’t be able to get more fluid. As you said, when you stop, the residue falls, the hole is exposed and you can drive a short distance again.

Check your transmission fluid and take notice of the color. It should be bright red. A little darkening is normal, but if it is black and you can feel grit if you rub it between your fingers, it may be too dirty.

This is the best case scenario, but it sounds like we are on the right track. The other possibilities are solenoid or wiring issues. If you check, fill and or flush your transmission fluid and you still have this problem, it will require further and more extensive diagnosis of your gears by a qualified technician.

Good luck!

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