The starter rotates the crankshaft to start a stopped engine and generate the initial combustion.
This action is called "cranking" and can be performed either manually or electrically (motorized).
Types of manual starters include pull-start starters in which a rope wound around a reel on the flywheel side of the engine is pulled, as well as lever starters in which a detachable lever is attached to the engine and turned.
Because electrical starters perform starting using a battery-powered DC motor, this motor is referred to as a "starting motor."
Many starters are equipped with preheating devices to facilitate starting.

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