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Stop Getting A Static Shock from your Car

Updated on June 14, 2009

It's a fairly common thing. You get out of your car, go to shut the door behind you, and you get the shock of your life! DANG!!! Those can really hurt!

There are several factors that can contribute to this static charge and to whether or not it results in a spark. Among them are (I think):

  • The types of clothes you are wearing (ex: wool can make things worse)
  • The type of shoes you're wearing
  • How well grounded your car is
  • The types of seats in your car
  • The season
  • etc...

The good news is that this shock can be very easy to avoid.  For example, if I'm in my car in a wool coat, in dry weather, and I've been doing a lot of twisting around to reach into the back seat, a charge will build between myself and the seat of the car.  When I'm getting out, separating myself from the seat will leave the charge in the car, and when I touch the car again to close the door, the charge will travel to the ground through me.

To be honest, I just don't have the time or the interest to research all of the possible solutions to this charge build up.  So, I'm still the conduit for the charge's transfer to the ground, but I do one small thing to avoid the shock.

All I do is make sure I'm touching the car while I'm getting out. 

At whatever point the static is transferring from car to ground, I am already in contact with the car.  The spark happens when the charge can't transfer and gets "bottled up" in either you or the car, and you then get close enough (going to shut the door) for the electricity to jump through the air. 

So, by maintaining contact with the metal of the car, the electricity will move between you and the car without that jump; hence, no spark!

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    • profile image

      Nancy Drew 6 years ago

      Didn't know about green tires but it totally makes sense!

    • profile image

      Taylor 6 years ago

      "Green Tires" also called low resistance tires have less carbon and don't drain the static charge off vehicles.

      An antistatic strap will help

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 6 years ago

      Loved it!

    • profile image

      Josh 7 years ago

      THANK YOU!!! Very helpful

    • profile image

      Cindy Mallone 8 years ago

      The car ground strap worked for me too.

      http://www.mizter.com

    • profile image

      Melissa Barns 8 years ago

      Used to experience painful electrostatic discharge with my vehicle. A friend told me about car ground straps.

      It worked!!!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Oh thank you for this tip...I'm always jumping around in shock in the winter!