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If I move the shifter into the 1st gear position whilst the car is off then try to start the car with the clutch pedal down the car will not start, it jerks as if I haven't actually engaged the clutch.
I think you mean disengaged. When you push the clutch pedal in/down towards the floor, you are disengaging it. When you let it back up you are engaging it. As in Star Trek, where first they say to put the warp drive in gear, then engage, which is when they pop the clutch. I've always thought it must be one heck of a clutch, considering the launch they get off the line. Probably magnetic field-generated. Not the same as a CR-V, but same principle.

When you push the clutch pedal in, the hydraulics cause the slave cylinder to move the clutch arm to slide the throw-out bearing on the shaft and push the clutch disc away from the flywheel, disengaging the transmission so that the synchronizers enable smooth gear movement. Once in gear, then you release the pedal, which allows the clutch disc to engage the flywheel again, and voila. Driveline is engaged, and warp speed is achieved. Unless fluid level is leaky low or cylinder seals are shot.
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