I have a 2007 Nissan 350Z and there is a trim bar inside of my car that feels electrified. I even touched my tongue to it (please, I know) and I can feel electricity. It's similar to if you have ever taken a 9volt battery and touched it to your tongue (older brothers).

Here are some parameters. If the ignition is off and the doors are open with I can feel it. If the ignition is off and the doors are closed, I don't feel it. If the ignition is on I feel it with doors open or closed.

The trim piece is fake chromed. I thought plastic underneath the fake chrome look but I'm not sure.

Everyone I've asked just stares at me and shakes their head. They usually follow it up with something like, 'that's weird'.

I've had my battery ground checked and made sure there's no buildup on the batter terminals.

Any tests I can do or have done with a multimeter to figure it out would be awesome!

Here is a picture of the trim. It isn't my pic but this is it. Got it off the web.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Any chance of a picture? It's probably related to the interior lights circuit if it only happens when the door is open.
    – Ben
    Apr 9, 2016 at 19:52
  • Is it the trim around the shift lever? And I assume it's a manual transmission?
    – Ben
    Apr 9, 2016 at 20:19
  • 4
    Either way you could set a multimeter to dc volts, ground one end and touch the other to the trim in question.
    – Ben
    Apr 9, 2016 at 20:26
  • 1
    I would start by taking off the piece of trim and seeing where the chrome layer could be touching more metal. The electricity must have a path, and the chrome plate layer is the only part that can conduct a current on a chromed plastic piece. This is weird.
    – JPhi1618
    Apr 11, 2016 at 14:23
  • This is very wierd, but @JPhi1618 is correct. For there to be ay voltage present it has to have a path, so something under it must have voltage on it and it's conducting along the chromed surface. Can you remove the trim piece and find what's under it? Ben is spot on for the test you need to run. I'm very curious what the voltage is going to be that you find there.
    – cdunn
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


The easiest test to perform, as Ben pointed out is to use a multimeter to measure the voltage to ground. In case you're not familiar with automotive electric systems, most metal on a car is grounded, but even that can be tricky because sometimes the metal is attached to plastic or painted, especially in the interior. I would recommend using the outer edge of your lighter plug. That usually works.

If the voltage is 12V, or close to it the trim is electrified to the car electrical system. Since you say it happens when the door is open, or when the vehicle is running, then my guess would be the trim has been shorted to some interior lighting circuit, possibly some accent lighting underneath or near the trim bar.

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