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hi, i take it your vehicle is a manual or stick shift, to check your clutch you use 4th gear and with the engine running drop the clutch to see if it either stalls out the engine or slips. if your clutch cable is broken you will need to repair that first. with engine off engage first gear and attempt to start it, make sure there are no children or animals close to the vehicle, if the clutch is ok with your pedal pushed down the car will start, otherwise it will crawl at a very slow speed, needing repair.
Sorry old son but your clutch sounds like it has gone to the big junk yard in the sky reserved for dead clutches . When a clutch starts to slip it will continue to do so until that is all it will do . solution a new clutch is required .
Well, it would shift easily with engine off, because the transmission input shaft is not turning. Engine running and clutch engaging good, the input shaft would again be stationary and allow smooth shifting. What you have to determine is if the clutch disc or pressure plate is bad (a new clutch is needed), or if the pedal hydraulic system has a malfunction. When you push the pedal down, a rod from the top of pedal pushes into the clutch master cylinder bolted to the firewall under the hood. This cylinder has a reservoir filled with brake fluid. When the rod forces fluid from the clutch master down a steel line and into the clutch slave cylinder down on the transmission bell housing, the hydraulic pressure forces a plunger from the slave cylinder to extend and push the clutch fork lever a small amount, enough to force the clutch release bearing (aka throw-out bearing) against the pressure plate. This relieves pressure on the clutch disc and input shaft becomes stationary for easy shifting.
I cannot say for your brand for sure, but other vehicles have had problems with lock up torque converters. They would shift up normally, but when you went to slow down, it was like driving a stick in 4th gear and not pushing in the clutch. It would bog down and die. Once you start it back up, it would be fine and shift right back up again.
the engine tickover is too slow when the engine is cold its running on cold start, ie:choke,, after it warms up the engine slows down this is what is causing it to stall in gear,, get some one to hold the brakes hard on and with the engine running in gear ajust the tick over till its reving at 750 - 850 rpm the revs will go up a bit when its out of gear,, before you pick a gear to go into push the foot brake down to stop the car lurching,,,