Why do I get shocked when getting out of my car?


Old 02-23-05, 07:28 PM
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Why do I get shocked when getting out of my car?

Does anyone have any idea as to why my car shocks the hell out of me everytime I get out of it. It only happens after I drive it.

The car is a Chevy Impala.
Jim G
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Old 02-23-05, 08:11 PM
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I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's a build up of static electricity. Probably depends on what you're wearing and the fabric that your seats are made of. One solution is basically to hang a wire connected to the metal frame of your car. It pretty much drags on the street as you drive (it's very short... just enough to make contact with the ground on occasion). I've noticed people with these before The static thing also seems to be an issue for people who use their cell phones a lot in the car.
Old 02-24-05, 02:36 AM
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Bingo... they used to teach some of this in schools 'bout 30 or so years ago...

The original poster can try spraying his seats with "Static Gard" to see if that helps.... Could be that those silks boxer may have to go in favour of cotton briefs....
Old 02-24-05, 04:00 AM
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Try this on the next time you get out of your car.

Open the door and hold on on some metal part like door frame or the car body before you step out on the ground, if it does not shock you, keep doing it until you get use to. This's not eliminated the problem by all means, it's only change where you get shock when you get out, you can feel it shoch on your hands but hardly notice it at you feet with shoes on.

I have tried the Static strips that drag on the ground, it works OK as long as it touched the ground, doesn't works so well (or at all) on snow and of course, I get shock all year round but less in the summer, leather seats are worst.
Old 02-24-05, 06:05 PM
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Hi Jim,

I also get that little zap when I get out of my car, but only on cold days. I guess static builds better in the cold. One idea I have about this is that there may be an open ground somewhere in the electrical system. (Not trying to scare you, because it's an easy fix). Look for a ground connection between the hood and the body of the vehicle. If there isn't one, put one in. The ones I've seen, and this could be quite old technology, is a copper spring like thing, that touches the hood when it's closed. Look along the firewall. That's where I've seen them. If that doesn't do the trick, you may want to ground the body to the frame. I hope this helps you. Now it's off to fix my own car.

Old 02-24-05, 08:57 PM
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Actually, the key with cold air is that it supports less humidity than warm air and dry is one the key ingredients to static electricity. The other is usually the material we wear versus the material of the seat cover. Tire selection *may* help but that might be static that is generated differently.

When I was a kid, I used to scuff my nylon socks across the carpet and then touch my sister..... ZAP!!, every time.
Old 03-04-05, 05:23 PM
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static shock

As a certified weights & measures inspector, we are taught about static. Mechanic is right when he says the colder air holds less moisture and that increases the possibility of static discharge. Our office has a rule that no fuel pumps are inspected when thetemp is below 0 (32F). The cause of the static is what you are wearing, synthetic fibers, rubbing across the car interior, more synthetic fibers. Your shoes have rubber soles and heals which provide a degree of insulation and enhance the possibility of your building up a static charge. The reason you get shocked more often after driving is because you are constantly moving on the car seat / carpet. It's like rubbing a silk scarf along a glass rod.
The safest and easiest way to avoid the shock is to do as New Guy says is to hold onto the window/windshield frame while exiting the car. This will ground you to the car's ground. Do it BEFORE your feet touch the ground or you'll still get a good shock.
The make of tires makes no difference. The static charge is built up in your body and clothing, not the car. When your feet touch the ground you complete the circuit and the static charge passes from you to the nearest conductor, namely anything metal.
As a last point. NEVER reenter your car no matter how cold it is when refueling it. NEVER leave the engine running either. You will build up another static charge and when you come out and touch the nozzle, there's a good chance there will be a hole where you used to be.
Old 03-07-05, 03:51 PM
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It's static electricity. My dakota does the same thing. Sure those cloth seats don't get quite as cold in the winter, or quite as hot in the summer as opposed to vinyl or leather, but they generate loads of static electricity. Everytime you move in your seat you generate a little SE, and by the time you get to your destination - WHAMMO. This is the same reason they recommend you not re-enter your vehicle while re-fueling. That little spark is all it takes to ignite gas fumes.
Best way to avoid the shock? As I open the door to get out, but before I get out of my seat, I grab the top of the door, and wrap my fingers to the outside of the door - so they are touching the metal. Then I get up out of the seat, and exit the truck. Touching the metal dissipates the SE without the annoying shock.
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