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I know that you can get a static shock when exiting your car after driving for a while from the friction on the seat. However I do have my car for several years and since a week or so I am starting to get static shocks for the first time ever (no change in clothes, seats, shoes or whatever).

I am not talking about the usual uncomfortable shock like you typically get rubbing a balloon or whatever, when I touch the metal part of my car with direct skin contact of my hand my lower arm becomes numb for a few seconds and the "zap" is so loud it can be heard meters away.

In addition I was also absolutely surprised that I can even cause the arc to happen when I touch the car with my jacket only and not even with my skin, there is like half an inch of fabric and I can still feel a tickle on my skin where the jacket touches the metal part.

My question boils down to: Is this really just regular static discharge that happens to occur out of nowhere after a few years or could this be something else? Touching the car again afterwards is not shocking, so there is definitely only a temporary difference in potential that is equalized with the first touch...

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  • My old car has regular shocks, where can i get Severe static shocks? ;)-
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 17 at 17:15
  • For someone who has never ever received a shock from ones car getting an arm numbing shock is somewhat of an oddity :) Feb 17 at 18:37
  • @alaska man - at your local Severe(tm) dealer at the corner of Bounce and Rebound.
    – John Canon
    Feb 18 at 1:58
  • One of my colleagues solves the problem by letting his wife get out first.
    – Transistor
    Jul 18 at 13:03
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If you have a metal door lever to open the door while inside, do this. Hold onto the lever as you slide out and exit the car. Let go only after you are standing on the ground. If there is no metal to hang onto, then you need to add a piece of metal plumbers strapping that is screwed to the metal of the car door. This way you keep yourself grounded while you shimmy and slide out.

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  • Many vehicles now use plastic components, or plastic covered components, causing an insulating effect. One could lower the window, reach outside to hold the outer handle, however.
    – fred_dot_u
    Jul 18 at 15:36
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Another factor in static shock is the humidity levels. Less humidity in the air causes more shock.

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Use four coat hangers and cut the hooks off. Then straiten them out and attach at each corner of the car like curb feelers. Make sure each rod touches the ground.

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