I'm currently translating some German technical terms for my English-speaking co-workers. The terms all relate to the Mercedes-made flame-starter for a diesel engine.

I've come across the term "Startanhebung", which (from my understanding), describes a process in which an in-series resistance is shorted to trigger an amplification circuit to increase its power output in order to start an engine. For example, this process is supposedly necessary when attempting to start an automobile engine with a low battery voltage (e.g., 10 V).

I have a background in electrical engineering and a minimal understanding of technical German, but engines - especially diesel engines - are foreign to me. Does anyone know what the correct English term would be for the process I've described? Or does this process even make sense?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a current limiting resistor in series with the starter motor? \$\endgroup\$
    – Oskar Skog
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you post the original phrase in German? There are some German speaking folks around here who might be able to help you out. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 20:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Combustion motors are usually called "engines" in English, while "motor" is used for electric motors and the like. You might want to rephrase that part of your question in order to avoid confusion, if engine was what you meant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dampmaskin
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 21:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Startanhebung is the process of shorting the low voltage sides resistance that feeds the ignition coil so the spark plug gets more voltage. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought Diesel engines used glow plugs to start, rather than a spark, so I would say "to bypass a current limiting resistor under low battery conditions to elevate glow plug power for starting." If electronic then " active a shunt across current limit R to amplify power for flame starter" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


According to a "German Automotive & Technical Glossary" I found, "Startanhebung" can be translated as "starting enrichment". (source)

To me that sounds more like something to do with the fuel mixture, though.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you're right on both counts! Since asking, I've been poking around some German automotive forums, and one differentiated between the "Startanhebung" I described and "Startanhebung der Einspritzmenge", which is an increase in the amount of fuel injected. I think the later makes much more since in the context of our flame-starter. \$\endgroup\$
    – wisner
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 21:04

Hmmm... translations can be tricky for technical things, but it sounds as if maybe they are describing a "glowplug"?



I think Startanhebung sounds like any kind of start booster of which can be almost anything intended for diesel engines.

So it depends on the adjective for the actuator and the schematic will show what is switched. (fuel mixture , power etc)

e.g. Magnetventil

HERE a Magnetventil Startanhebung Chevy 6,2 Diesel is defined and shown as a Solenoid valve start-up Chevy 6.2 Diesel enter image description here


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