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View Full Version : Off topic - how can I prevent static shocks?



Susan B
02-12-2004, 03:28 PM
Virtually every time I get out of my Honda Civic car and go to shut the door the blimmin thing bites me. Even if I leave the door open and go to open the boot it still makes me jump and I am sick of it!

The other Civic does the same and so have the two previous ones but not our other cars of different makes so it appears to be one of the Civic's "features", though the rest of the family reckon it doesn't happen so often to them. They reckon I'm a sook and should get over it but I don't like it so what can I do?

The anti-static strap we tried made such a racket on the road that it has been removed but apart from biting it back to see how it likes it, there must be some other way to stop this shocking behaviour. Any ideas?


PS There is nothing wrong with my driving either, so the little beast can't be trying to tell me something. :p :D

beetle
02-12-2004, 03:38 PM
LOL i had nothing to do with it.....
trade it on on a new broom..............
:D
ok if its just those cars, what sort of clothing shoes do you wear?
shoes?

certain types of clothing make it worse and i know i get them all the time - the shocks that is,

or hold something over the hand and close the door, end of sweatshirt best if material etc

only other suggestion is close it by pushing on the window,
does it have central locking? button or remote?

:p



luvs ya really mum....:D

beetle

4bes
02-12-2004, 03:41 PM
Static is generally caused by the rubbing of your clothing on the car seat. Certain types of fabric will cause more static then others. You could try putting a different seat cover on or even covering the seat with a towel to see if that helps. Try to avoid wearing polarfleece while you are driving - well known for causing static

Graham L
02-12-2004, 03:47 PM
Maybe it's you, not the cars. :D

You are sitting on the seat, holding the insulated steering wheel, and use a plastic handle to open the door. You are probably wearing synthetic clothes too. You have probably got a good charge on by the time you get out. Then the car gets a shock from you as you touch its metal handle.

Try an experiment. Before you get out, touch some metal part inside the car ... if you can find one. If you are electrified, you'll notice, then you won't get a shock after you get out. If that works, get Him Inside to fix up a discharger for you. A 1 megohm resistor connected to the car earth, and a touch plate in a suitable plate will be the equivalent of an antistatic strap as used for computer work.

Earnie
02-12-2004, 03:57 PM
Hi Susan,
I sympathise with you, It gives you a hell of a fright when you are not expecting it to happen. We had a similar problem with our Commodore. Advice we heard was to hold onto the metal part of the door as you exit the car. This seems to work, we were also told that it depends on the fabric on the seats and what type of clothing you are wearing at the time. Good luck,
Earnie.

Elephant
02-12-2004, 04:00 PM
Cars are full of synthetic material. You may also be wearing synthetic material. Just walking over a carpet can generate an 18,000 volt shock. Fortunately there won't be much in the way of AMPS.

Changing your clothing or car seat covers may help.

Other than that then drive with Gumboots and rubber gloves.

I know that in the 50s and 60s cars came equipped with a strap which was supposed to do the job. I certainly haven't seen one recently.

What are you dragging behind the Civic? 20 metres of anchor chain???

Graham L
02-12-2004, 04:13 PM
I'd bet that car manufacturers will have taken steps to stop the cars accumulating charges. Apart from the complaints from customers, the chances of a spark from the filler pipe to the (earthed) petrol pump nozzle would have made it essential. Car tyres will have enough conductive content to make a car a good ES earth.

However, women are well known to spark when provoked. Some spark when they are only getting out of a car. ]:)

Susan's better experienmces with other cars may have been due to different seat cover material. (The car's seat, nor Susan's).

Susan B
02-12-2004, 04:13 PM
> certain types of clothing make it worse and i know i get them all the time - the shocks that is

Why am I not surprised? :p :D

> or hold something over the hand and close the door, end of sweatshirt best if material etc

I do that when I have long sleeves or a long skirt on but it's awkward (and rude!) in public carparks when wearing other clothing... :p

> only other suggestion is close it by pushing on the window,

Don't like the messy paw prints on the window though. :-(

> does it have central locking? button or remote?

I wish! It's fancier than the basic model but AFAIK Civics don't come with remote locking. And anyway, how is that going to close the door?? :D

> luvs ya really mum....

Glad that somebody does....

Susan B
02-12-2004, 04:15 PM
> Static is generally caused by the rubbing of your clothing on the car seat. Certain types of fabric will cause more static then others. You could try putting a different seat cover on or even covering the seat with a towel to see if that helps. Try to avoid wearing polarfleece while you are driving - well known for causing static

It does it with or without seat covers (both are synthetic, see). Funny thing is that the seat covers are exactly the same as in the other car which doesn't bite. ?:|

Susan B
02-12-2004, 04:18 PM
> Maybe it's you, not the cars.

*Sigh* Yes, that wouldn't surprise me. :-(

> You are sitting on the seat, holding the insulated steering wheel, and use a plastic handle to open the door. You are probably wearing synthetic clothes too. You have probably got a good charge on by the time you get out. Then the car gets a shock from you as you touch its metal handle.

I wonder if it will still do it if I am wearing no clothes or shoes? Hmmm.... that might be a good experiment to try. :p :D

> Try an experiment. Before you get out, touch some metal part inside the car ... if you can find one.

That's the thing - what is metal inside?? I have never been electrified inside the cars before but I will have a hunt and try it.

> If you are electrified, you'll notice, then you won't get a shock after you get out. If that works, get Him Inside to fix up a discharger for you. A 1 megohm resistor connected to the car earth, and a touch plate in a suitable plate will be the equivalent of an antistatic strap as used for computer work.

I will mention that though I probably won't get much sympathy. Might have to try a bit of blackmail in that case... ;-) :D


> It gives you a hell of a fright when you are not expecting it to happen.

True, but it is just as bad when I am expecting it to happen, which is 90% of the time. :D I will try holding onto the metal part of the door as I exit and see if that helps.

godfather
02-12-2004, 04:18 PM
Actually the answer is quite fundamental.

Do not wear any clothes when driving.

Susan B
02-12-2004, 04:25 PM
> Other than that then drive with Gumboots and rubber gloves.

Gumboots and rubber gloves? Or can I wear either? :D

I could wear my leather gloves I suppose, but they would be rather uncomfortable at this time of the year.

> What are you dragging behind the Civic? 20 metres of anchor chain???

Dunno, but that is what it sounded like! :D


> However, women are well known to spark when provoked.

Himself would agree with that. :p :D

> Some spark when they are only getting out of a car.

Depends on how close the idiot was when he/she decided to pull out in front of me. ;-)


> Susan's better experienmces with other cars may have been due to different seat cover material. (The car's seat, nor Susan's).

Well one of the other cars had sheepskin covers but the second one has covers exactly the same as the Civic's and I don't get bitten by that one. ?:|


Godfather: But I would freeze!! :D

sam m
02-12-2004, 04:30 PM
Out of habit I reach behind as I get out of the car and hold onto the metal door catch, once 1 leg has hit the ground then I let go. Another object to hold onto is the key (metal part) while it is still in the ignition.

or

once out of the car, close the door by the window and then hold onto the metal part of the key and lock the door with it - pretty sparks jump from key to lock and your discharged.

or

GF's idea a good one

shortcircuit
02-12-2004, 04:33 PM
With a nick like mine I should have some suggestions...

How about wearing pink fluffy slippers. They act as 'charge dissipators' when you put your feet on the ground, scares the crap out of the cat as well :-)

Seriously, we had this problem when we had new synthetic carpet put in our office and everyone was getting zapped touching computers and things. The problem didn't occur when I wore rubber soled shoes (gumboots in the office.... now there's a thought!)

Damn good excuse to splash out on a new pair of shoes I say

godfather
02-12-2004, 04:47 PM
Another suggestion - this will not happen if you ride a bicycle, and do not drive the car? But please - do not combine both of my helpful suggestions, for the sake of other road users.

The problem is not one of the car having a static "charge" in all probability, but you having one from sliding into and out of the seat while the car is grounded.

The static strap would certainly work, but you had it attached wrongly. It does not get attached to the car, but to you in this case. The car is already at ground potential (due to the conductive nature of car tyres). You need to also be at ground potential, hence the static strap.

Would you like suggestions of where it should be mounted, and how to attach it?

beetle
02-12-2004, 04:49 PM
ROFLMAO......................

tell us how and where to attach anyway Goddie, we may all learn something.............:p


beetle

Jen C
02-12-2004, 05:04 PM
I get zapped as well quite a bit (and not just from cars). The problem is, once you have been whacked a couple of times it makes you more hesitant to touch the offending door, so you end up doing this "will I, won't I" touch it act which results in you getting a stronger shock than if you just slapped your hand down on the door without hesitation. That is my theory anyway :p

Graham L
02-12-2004, 05:12 PM
You could always wear your antistatic wrist strap, and use the earth clip to touch anything earthed when you have a charge. That will stop the shock --- the resistor in the lead helps a lot.

godfather
02-12-2004, 05:12 PM
Helpful suggestion No. 2a (http://www.sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/ballandchain.jpg)

E|im
02-12-2004, 05:17 PM
Hmm Susan this happens to me with our Honda Civic!! Interesting thread. :D

willie_M
02-12-2004, 05:44 PM
how can car tyres be conductive? THEYRE RUBBER?!

What the hell?

I'm pretty sure I'd crash if I saw some girl riding a bike down the road with no clothes on :D

Billy T
02-12-2004, 05:49 PM
Hi Sis

Sorry to hear of your shocking experiences. :D

There are three things you can do that may help:

If there is a finger grip well in the door handle, at the bottom there should be a conductive fabric patch that will allow you to discharge the static as you step out of the car. Many modern cars have this feature, as well as my 11 year old Mazda so that may help. Most people don't put their fingers down into the door handle very far so they don't get discharged.

The second thing is to step out of the car without touching the door, then discharge the static by touching your elbow to the the door frame. This hurts a lot less and is almost always below the "serious nuisance" level.

The third is to take a good grip on the top of the door frame then step out of the car. That way you rarely feel any shock at all.

Give them a try, all advice offered with due care and sympathy but no guarantees are offered, it may just be your electrifying personality or sparking wit unleashing itself.

Cheers

Bro Billy 8-{) B-)

PS Thanks for looking after WFTWE & Monday Laughs
for me while I was away. Boy was I jealous when I saw how
many responses you got to your first Monday Larfs :^O I've
got to find a better source of jokes.:(

Graham L
02-12-2004, 05:50 PM
Synthetic rubber car tyres are conductive. The synthetic rubber hose on a petrol pump is conductive. The concrete on a service station forecourt is conductive.

Admittedly, they are not as conductive as a copper wire. They don 't need to be. The intention is to stop the buildup of static charges.

Does the idea of naked lady cyclists cause a buildup of charge in you? Perhaps you need a conductive rubber object to dissipate the charge.

Jester
02-12-2004, 06:07 PM
This happens to me too. We must be overcharged or something.

What I do is this. Open the door, grab the top of the door frame (metal bit), before I swivel and step out, and touch the ground as I am still holding the doorframe. Seems to dicharge any static, painlessly.

J
:D

nzStan
02-12-2004, 06:21 PM
Can I suggest you have a close look at your shoes?

My wife gets zapped whenever she wear a particular type of shoe. I've read somewhere that nowadays shoes have soles that are no longer conductive.

I don't get zapped when I am wearing my office dress shoes. But during the weekend I'm using my sneakers and that'll zapped me quite often.

Thomas
02-12-2004, 06:27 PM
I didn't realise G_F was so kinky;)

lagbort
02-12-2004, 06:46 PM
My mums car always zaps me, so I got into the habit of pulling on the door handle, then opening and closing the door with my hand on the glass

manicminer
02-12-2004, 08:25 PM
Don't touch the ground.

Elephant
02-12-2004, 08:53 PM
> I get zapped as well quite a bit (and not just from
> cars). The problem is, once you have been whacked a
> couple of times it makes you more hesitant to touch
> the offending door, so you end up doing this "will I,
> won't I" touch it act which results in you getting a
> stronger shock than if you just slapped your hand
> down on the door without hesitation. That is my
> theory anyway :p

Hmmmmmm. A few days ago I went into the library and the alarm went off. I was not carrying any books in. Apologised to the librarian and she suggested it was my magnetic personality. When I walked out with some books the alarm never even murmured.

I had thought that you may change the Nylon nickers for Cctton and this may help. It won't help unless you wear Miniskirts will it????

Rubber gloves are useful for closing doors.

Very often I have to open farm gates and these are not connected to the electric fence but in the rain you can get a belt. I use the rubber gloves for opening and closing these gates. Don't wear Gumboots any more.

Elephant
02-12-2004, 08:58 PM
Lady Godiva sounds interesting. Pity I wasn't born then. :-)
Maybe a Penny Farthing rather than a horse. Lots of metal bits to touch.

Susan B
02-12-2004, 09:39 PM
> Would you like suggestions of where it should be mounted, and how to attach it?

Ummm... not here, thank you. :p


> The problem is, once you have been whacked a couple of times it makes you more hesitant to touch the offending door, so you end up doing this "will I, won't I" touch it act which results in you getting a stronger shock than if you just slapped your hand down on the door without hesitation. That is my theory anyway

That is dead right, Jen, and my problem exactly. Which is why the family laugh and call me a big sook. :p


Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions, people, I will do some experimentation and see what happens *shudders*. I don't really want to have to wear certain clothing and shoes just to drive around in my car so grabbing the door frame before exiting sounds the most practical. :-)

Susan B
04-12-2004, 03:06 PM
YIPPEE!!! I have beaten the little beast!! :D

So simple that I didn't even think of it - all I have to do is what Billy and Jester (and maybe others, I can't see) suggested and hold onto the door frame when hopping out. No more bites!!! :D

Thanks a million, guys. :x

godfather
04-12-2004, 03:20 PM
OK

Now please put your clothes back on ...

teddybear
04-12-2004, 06:12 PM
I also suffer from this, but it also happens at the supermarket reaching in between the metal shelves, the sparks just jump to me as soon as I pick up a can, just pushing the trolley is enough to zap me. I don't drive, have no seat cover on my seat, use hanky or sleeve to open doors, knock it shut with my handbag.Sometimes this is really painful & is enough to bring tears to the eyes. Dr has no answer for this, the local health food outlet suggested as soon as I wake in the morning, when the dew is still around, to stand bare-footed on the damp grass to earth myself out for the day. But it still happens.

Billy T
04-12-2004, 07:11 PM
> the local health food outlet suggested as soon
> as I wake in the morning, when the dew is still
> around, to stand bare-footed on the damp grass to
> earth myself out for the day. But it still happens.

Sorry teddybear, but that advice was no use at all.

Some questions to narrow down possible causes for your high static levels:

1) Do you experience shocks in all seasons and weathers? If not, when do you think the worst times are?

2) Are they more prevalent in airconditioned premises?

3) Do you have an abnormally dry skin?

4) What material do you favour for your clothing, and are there any clothing types that seem to reduce or increase the frequency and severity of your shocks?

5) What type of shoe sole material do you favour? Synthetic, rubber or leather.

There are a number of things that can be done to relieve this problem but there is a defined process to follow to find out which or what will serve you best.

For a quick-fix you could try static grounding straps which fit on your shoes, they are worn in electronics factories and other static sensitive areas. I'm not sure where you can buy these at the moment because it is years since I needed any but they are usually a last resort.

If you can provide some answers to the above then maybe I can help you.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Greg S
06-12-2004, 03:54 PM
Leather upholstery is appernetly good for minismising it.

anyway, what I do is put the calf of my leg firmly against the doorsill after opening the door, while getting out. this has the effect of seeping off the static while it's being generated, so that it doesn't build up. If it's a particularly dry day I'll also momentarily put my bum against the side of the car before closing the door, so that any buildup seeps away by the minimised contact of your clothes fabric

personthingy
06-12-2004, 05:39 PM
>>I wonder if it will still do it if I am wearing no clothes or shoes? Hmmm.... that might be a good experiment to try.

While the naked driving concept has been dismissed as impractical, barefoot is not silly. I live barefoot, i never get problems with static. NEVER. and i dont need to wear those antistatic wristband thingys when putting cards into 'puters either......

:-)
Chris

Kame
06-12-2004, 11:58 PM
One has to ask are you the driver?

I would have thought touching the car keys would have taken the bite out of the shock.

Is it possible that the outside paint and the air can build up static?

Next time you go to close the door, grab someone by the arm and do it, they'll feel it more than you would.


Kame

Susan B
07-12-2004, 08:06 AM
> One has to ask are you the driver?

Yes. I am not usually a passenger in my own car so I can't remember whether I actually get bitten on those instances.


> I would have thought touching the car keys would have
> taken the bite out of the shock.

Doesn't seem to have any effect as I always remove the keys from the ignition before hopping out.


> Is it possible that the outside paint and the air can
> build up static?

I wouldn't really think so. Like the others have said, it is probably due to the clothing and shoes that I wear. Holding onto the door whilst exiting has solved the problem, fortunately.

> Next time you go to close the door, grab someone by
> the arm and do it, they'll feel it more than you
> would.

I will try that. ]:) :D

exLL
07-12-2004, 02:11 PM
>I would have thought touching the car keys would have taken the bite out of the shock.

You create the static electric charge as you slide off the seat. It is the action of your clothing rubbing against the fabric of the seat covering.

Touching the keys as you exit the car would be the same as holding the door frame to eliminate the shock, but you would need very long arms.

R2x1
07-12-2004, 03:46 PM
>how can I prevent static shocks?

Keep moving, that way you get dynamic shocks. Much better for you.

paularnpriester
20-04-2005, 02:19 PM
check this out.....this product works .... great to prevent static electricity on my car... its like anti shock [edit: spam removed] :thumbs:

godfather
20-04-2005, 03:56 PM
check this out.....this product works .... great to prevent static electricity on my car... its like anti shock [edit: spam removed] :thumbs:
I cannot believe someone would pay such good money (US$7.29) for a simple "resistance device" that will discharge the static build-up though.

Good marketing skills on the companies behalf though, when a 2 cent resistor would do the same.

Billy T
20-04-2005, 03:57 PM
Wish I'd thought of that! :(

Electronic circuit be damned, it is nothing more that a discharge resistance in a plastic holder.

A conductive anti-static bag would probably work just as well, but would definitely be less convenient.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Edward
20-04-2005, 07:50 PM
I think she's found a solution by now

FoxyMX
20-04-2005, 07:58 PM
when a 2 cent resistor would do the same.
So how come no one mentioned this when the question was first asked? :confused:

godfather
21-04-2005, 08:48 AM
So how come no one mentioned this when the question was first asked? :confused:
Because it's still a PITA to use, would you remember to "ground yourself" using the device every time you were going to touch something?

It's not like just carrying the device works, you have to actually use it every time.

FoxyMX
21-04-2005, 08:52 AM
Hmmm... I had better confess that I have no idea what this "resistor device" is so perhaps you could kindly explain what it is and how it is used?

godfather
21-04-2005, 09:02 AM
When you are about to touch a door handle, or any conductive device that the static charge built up in your body may discharge into (e.g. HWMO), yo touch it with the "resistor device" first, which allows the static charge to *slowly* (a millisecond or 3) discharge, meaning no arc and no "shocking sensation" for either party.

sam m
21-04-2005, 09:18 AM
In the peak of static season (ie summer) I would get out of the car, close the door via the window and then firmly holding the metal part of the car key put that slowly to the lock. The discharge then goes from the key to the lock. Looks cool at night.

FoxyMX
21-04-2005, 10:06 AM
Ah, I see. Thanks for the explanation Godfather.

Gripping the door before alighting costs nothing and stills works most effectively, providing I remember to grab it before my feet hit the ground. :D

godfather
21-04-2005, 10:15 AM
Gripping the door before alighting costs nothing and stills works most effectively, providing I remember to grab it before my feet hit the ground. :D

But be careful if you use that method with HWM(B)O...

Graham L
21-04-2005, 02:24 PM
So how come no one mentioned this when the question was first asked? :confused:

I did. So how come you didn't read that? :eek: :mad: :yuck:

:D

Mrono
21-04-2005, 02:59 PM
I cannot believe someone would pay such good money (US$7.29) for a simple "resistance device" that will discharge the static build-up though.

Good marketing skills on the companies behalf though, when a 2 cent resistor would do the same.

God father, I have no idea where you got your electrical experience from but the static jumps right over the 2-cent resister, it has been tried. the big shocks almost seem to hurt more using a resister then no resister.


When you are about to touch a door handle, or any conductive device that the static charge built up in your body may discharge into (e.g. HWMO), yo touch it with the "resistor device" first, which allows the static charge to *slowly* (a millisecond or 3) discharge, meaning no arc and no "shocking sensation" for either party.

The higher the resistence, the slower the discharge, you make it sound like any resister would work. The product at [edit: spam removed] at least appears to have solved those issues.

A reletive of mine has one of these and has aparently been happy with.

Metla
21-04-2005, 03:17 PM
Now isn't that a coincidence, first we visit their site a few times through the above link,then we get a first time poster promoting the goods.....Wonder if they happened to sell the item to their family member who happens to have one and is happy with it.

Thats not to say Im rubbish the product,even if it is well outside the realms of what I would consider a must have purchase.



If they built it into a hat it might be a different story.....

FoxyMX
21-04-2005, 03:19 PM
I did. So how come you didn't read that? :eek: :mad: :yuck:
Ooops, you did too. :blush:

Must have sounded too technical and complicated for me probably. Some things go way over the top of my head at times. :p

Graham L
21-04-2005, 04:30 PM
Mrono: I think GF and I both mentioned a value of 1 megohm. That's a typical value of the resistor in the grounding wire of a purpose built antistatic wrist strap.

The Human Body Model used in testing components for static discharge survival is 100pF in series with 1.5 kilohms.

A 1 meg resistor should discharge your body safely. I suppose if the voltage is high enough the peak current might be 15 or 20 mA, but the charge held in 100 pF would dissipate so quickly that I don't think you would feel it.

Of course, a 10 ohm or even up to 1 k might be effectively the same as touching the metal directly. I don't think the sort of static charge we're talking about would "jump right over" a resistor. I have seen static voltages of that magnitude (around 250000 volts) but they were in exceptional conditions.

GF has considerable experience and knowledge. ;)

AudiFan
13-12-2007, 03:05 AM
[edit: spam removed]

Bantu
13-12-2007, 05:45 AM
Not everyone get static shocks. My daughter and I do but my wife doesn't.

I learned many years ago to hold the door as I got out to prevent shocks.

I can go in some supermarkets and reach out and touch a can of something on the shelf and get a small arc of spark maybe 2 cm between me and the can, it can be a bit scary when it happens. It used to happen in Pack and Save sometimes, even if wife reached out to touch me she would then get quite a shock off me.

The upside is that if anyone annoys me in a supermarket I can just touch them and they get a shock. That has happened a couple of times and the person is not happy about their experience.

never-u-mind
13-12-2007, 07:14 AM
During static season I'm a shocker. Cars, people, if I am at the supermarket I have to get my son to put things into the trolley as I get sick and tired of getting shocked. Can't touch people at all during a bad day which is actually quite funny. The look on some peoples face when you meet them for the first time and do the whole hand shake, kiss on the cheek thing and they get a little shock ........ I should really warn them first but yeah ....... what can I say ..... I think its rather funny.:illogical :)

chicken one
13-12-2007, 09:05 PM
In the old days of the Air Force the refuelling trucks used to drag a brass chain on the ground.
Is Susan B still alive?

C1

Erayd
13-12-2007, 09:15 PM
Is Susan B still alive?Yes, but not wishing to be known as Susan B.

chicken one
14-12-2007, 06:50 AM
Yes, but not wishing to be known as Susan B.

Well what is her new name?
C1

Erayd
14-12-2007, 08:55 AM
Well what is her new name?When I say "Not wishing to be known as Susan B", I mean she doesn't want people to know that 'Susan B' is her. If she has changed her mind on that, she can post saying so (unlikely though, she was pretty clear about it).

John H
14-12-2007, 11:29 AM
During static season I'm a shocker. etc

Don't ever think of going to Scott Base then! You will be more of a shocker down there! :lol:

Misty
14-12-2007, 07:57 PM
Susan B - wish I could see a photo of her on a boat without her sunnies on !! The eyes are the mirrors of the soul !! :cool:
Misty :)

Agent_24
14-12-2007, 09:47 PM
Cars get me that way all the time, although they never seem to get the owner... funny that

Sam198234
05-06-2008, 06:37 AM
I know its an old post but i thought you might be interested.
I have the same problem but not with a honda. Wandering through google I found a thing called a zap absorber. I'm not sure if you can buy it in New Zealand but it worked for me.
Hope that helps.

robsonde
05-06-2008, 11:31 AM
and we still ask that threads auto lock after a year........