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Author Topic: Why do I receive an electric shock when getting out of the car?  (Read 19046 times)

blakestyger

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Sometimes, when I get out of my car and touch the metal part of the door I get a small but significant shock - but not always, in fact infrequently.
I think this happens most in summer but can't positively relate it to any physical conditions.
Does anyone know the cause, please?
[If it's any help it's a VW Passat diesel estate]
 ???
« Last Edit: 15/07/2008 23:30:08 by chris »

syhprum

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Normally this is caused by your clothing rubbing on the seat as you get out, this builds up a charge on your body which is discharged when you touch the ground.
The solution is to keep hold of a metal part of the car body as you get out or take care not to wear clothing that generates a charge such as a Nylon jacket.

graham.d

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It is static electricity. Cars, themselves, can get charged with respect to "ground", though they will discharge reasonably quickly because the tyres are made electrically conductive to reduce this effect. From what you describe, it is more likely to be due to the clothes you are wearing and the material of the seat causing you to charge up. Touching the car causes the discharge (i.e. the spark). This will be worse if the car seats are cloth or plastic rather than leather. To avoid the problem, try keeping hold of a bit of metal of the car (like the door) as you get out. This way the discharge will occur gradually without the unpleasant spark.

blakestyger

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Thank you both - the car seats are a sort of charcoal velvety stuff, so I can't do anything about that but I'll take the good advice to hold on to a metal bit on leaving.

paul.fr

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This is also one of the reasons why you can have expolsions at petrol stations.

 

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