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getting an electric shock on occasion when closing car door

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by justslappy, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. justslappy

    justslappy Junior Member

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    On two occasions, I've gotten a very slight electric shock when closing the car door after exiting. Happen to anyone else? Reasons?

    thanks
  2. dmvp

    dmvp Member

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  3. krousdb

    krousdb Active Member

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    That is usually associated with tires with high silica (i think it;s silica) content. LRR tires usually have a high silica content, especially Michelin's. Silica is a good insulator so static electricity builds up. When you get out of the car and touch the door, your body completes the circuit with the ground. Consider yourself a good conductor.:cool:
  4. radiocycle

    radiocycle Active Member

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    When we lived 250 miles to the north, in the SF bay area, I was so used to getting static shocks when stepping out of the car, that I habitually closed the door by touching only the window with my hand.

    Since moving down here on the coast, where apparently, the static electricity is much less with a higher humidity, I haven't been 'shocked' once.

    I've had to break myself of the habit of closing the door with my elbow or glomming onto the window, leaving big handmarks to clean off...
  5. MikeDS

    MikeDS Member

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    Yeah, I've had that happen several times...
  6. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Happens with all cars under the right circumstance, not just the Prius.
  7. BlueIce

    BlueIce New Member

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    Before leaving the seat touch something metal. I found that if I touch the top of the door before leaving the seat in my Pontiac Vibe I do not get a shock. If I leave the seat without touching the door I get a shock every time:eek:. Static is a strange thing. At work if an employee is have trouble with static shock we ask them to try different shoes. That sometime helps.

    Does the car have the Air Ioinzer?
  8. ancientsan

    ancientsan New Member

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    Happens all the time with my Rav4, definitely not prius related. I live in SF bay area.
  9. Jayavarman

    Jayavarman New Member

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    You have superpowers.
  10. blueumbrella

    blueumbrella Member of Prius Regeneration

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    I would not call this electrifying news, but I am shocked to hear about it!
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Sliding or rubbing between seat fabric and clothing are a common cause of this static. It is the same as the static shock that school kids have fun generating by scuffing shoes on the carpet, then touching the heating radiator or other grounded metal object.

    One of my old Fords shocked very hard very often. Holding the metal frame while exiting the seat reduced the severity, but still caused multiple smaller zaps through the hand as the fabrics separated. Each of my newer cars since has shocked less often than its predecessor, and so far my 2010 Toyota hasn't shocked at all.

    The problem is common enough to be included on the warning labels of my usual gas station, as if many people ever read those. This Youtube video, from about 0:55 on,
    , shows the static zap hazard at the gas pump.
    1 person likes this.
  12. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy Class Clown

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    Did you notice that after she started pumping gas, she got back in the car. Then as she slid across the seat when getting out of the car, she did not make contact with the car with her hands or legs. Next she touched the pump nozzle. That is when the static discharge occurred.

    I've been told that if you spray a little bit of a mild solution of fabric softener on the seats (and let them dry), you can substantially reduce the generation of static electricity.

    Keith
  13. meannotgreen

    meannotgreen New Member

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    Edit - Sorry - I posted this before seeing the later posts and the video.

    I used to do that but there is a drawback as an incident I had some years ago demonstrates ...........

    I stopped for petrol (sorry gas?) as normal, got out of the car and shut the door with my elbow, started undoing the petrol/gas filler cap but paused because there seemed to be a lot of back pressure and left my hand on the cap while it vented. Next minute the air in front and around me just turned red as the vapour ignited in a ball of flame! I jumped away (as you would) and there was a flame about two foot long shooting out of the filler.
    A brave attendant came with an asbestos cloth and screwed the filler cap back in and the flame extinguished.
    The only conclusion was that I hadn't discharged static after getting out of the car and when I paused unscrewing the filler cap my hand probably touched the bodywork and caused a spark. (The only injury was that I lost the hairs on my hand and wrist).

    So now I always make sure I'm fully discharged by patting the bodywork several times before touching the filler cap. I do get some funny looks though!
  14. quillsinister

    quillsinister New Member

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    I, too, get a charge out of staying current on these issues. :D
  15. eglmainz

    eglmainz New Member

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    Does an Ionizer affect this by improving or reducing this issue? And does the PlasmaCluster that we have in the Prius IV and V qualify me to answer yes to this question? Is it an Ionizer?
  16. OZ132

    OZ132 Member

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    When I was an Electrical Technician at Inland Steel's Indiana Harbor Works, there was an old Line operator who used to get a shock from a rubber air hose whenever he used it to blow off the steel strip.
    We never could make him understand how the rapid movement of dry air through a rubber hose could produce such a big static charge.
    He kept thinking he had an "electrical shortage" or some such thing.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    Or maybe he just called us 'cause he got lonesome on the night shift?
  17. urlyadoptr

    urlyadoptr New Member

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    When we got my wife's 1st Gen Prius in 2001 (when hybrids were REALLY new-fangled), I got zapped pretty good one day, and I was convinced the high voltage system was going to electrocute me! (I soon came back to reality and realized it was just static.)
  18. Dakine50

    Dakine50 Member

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    Two words, "static guard." You can pick it (orange cap/blue aerosol can) up at your local store near the soaps/detergents aisle.

    I keep a can in my garage and just spray the floor mats, seat backs/bottoms when I get shocked.

    Works like a charm.:)
  19. sumguy

    sumguy Junior Member

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    Long time ago I was listening to AM radio car talk. Lady called in with same problem. They told her it was her tires and to hang a wire or something from the undercarriage to the ground.
  20. raidbuck

    raidbuck New Member

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    ON another thread it quoted the manual that static electricity can build up because of the plasmacluster. I have the IV with that and have gotten shocked a few times. I used to get shocked on my other cars on dry, cold days. We'll see what happens when it gets cold but the plasmacluster (A/C) is off.

    Rich N.
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