Am I a 'live-wire' or is it static electricity?

  Brumas 23:37 28 Apr 2006

Seriously, is there any preventive step I can take to stop me experiencing what I would call a 'mild electric shock' everytime I touch anything metal ( door, garden gate, front door handle) after getting out of my car?

  Forum Editor 00:40 29 Apr 2006

you car has cloth-covered seats. You're also probably wearing clothing that contains artificial fibres.

What's happening is that you're acquiring a strong static charge by moving aroundon the car seat, and this is being discharged instantly as your hand is about to touch the metal object. I say "about to touch" because it's then that the high-voltage charge arcs across the small gap between hand and object, and you get that very unpleasant cracking sensation.

Next time you're about to leave the car, try this:-

Grab hold of some metal on the car BEFORE you set foot on the ground - perhaps by opening the door, and holding the metal frame that surrounds the window. Hold the door firmly, and then swing your leg out and put your foot on the ground. Step out of the car, still holding the frame, and you'll be fine - your static will be discharged painlessly.

The trick is to make sure you hold the metal door frame firmly - so no arcing can occur. You'll soon get the knack, and it will become a habit.

  Brumas 09:45 29 Apr 2006

Tried the tip from F.E. first and I have to say it works admirably. Thanks to all the other tips from the rest of you.

Does this mean I can now discard the 3 foot bendy lightning conductor attached to my shoulders and the 18 inches of ship's anchor chain dangling from the manacle on my right ankle ? ;o)

Thanks alot


  Diemmess 09:51 29 Apr 2006

Amazed the problem still exists!
An Austin Healey long ago and in very dry weather, used to do this to me. It was the car that built a static charge with nylon cored non-conducting Dunlop tyres.
I'd swing my feet out to the ground and then regret clutching the windsreen pillar for support.
Nowadays there's almost no bare metal available inside a car.
Absurd perhaps but you could use an anti-static wrist strap connected to a suitable self tapper to the nearest bit of metal or a seat runner.

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