static shock from car: how to stop?

Just bought a new Honda CRV for my wife a couple of weeks ago. We are receiving severe jolts of static electricity every time we get out of the car, the moment our hands touch the metal frame around the window.

I typically get minor shocks from my own car (an '03 Nissan Maxima) during the winter (very dry air), but not during times of higher humidity, and never anything like this; these shocks are seriously painful and produce a flash of blue light that’s visible in daylight.

Any suggestions for reducing or eliminating these shocks?

If your seats are cloth, spray with Static Guard. I had the same problem and this worked; I probably sprayed them a couple of times each winter is all.

Rub some dryer sheets all over the seats, and carpet? Might cut it down a little bit.
It seems to me there is also a spray you can use, but I couldn’t begin to remember the name of it.
Other than some experimentation that is all I got.

Get one of these.

What chacoguy said. The tires are of a particular make that builds up a lot of static. Get the ground straps. In the meanwhile, hold the key (or another piece of metal) firmly in your hand and touch the car’s frame with the key first, to discharge it that way.

^^ That will work.

I used to have a '91 Honda CRX (as opposed to your CRV) that had a small button-type thing (except it didn’t actually depress like a button) on the inside of the door that was specifically designed for you to touch before getting out of the car to avoid static shocks. I guess they didn’t carry that feature from the CRX to the CRV. (The button thingy said “Touch” on it.)

ETA: Actually, thinking about it further, this might be a Mazda MX-3 I’m remembering, not a Honda CRX…

Close the doors with your elbow. One of the best examples of classical conditioning I’ve ever personally been the subject of.

Get out of car, close with bare hand, receive shock.
Get out of car, close with elbow, no shock!

this would be a great way to set your car on fire while pumping gas though.

when its cold people get back in the car while pumping gas to stay warm, it is really important to touch the metal body someplace away from the pump handle before removing it to discharge static electricity as the spark could ignite the fumes coming out of your tank. (gas goes in, flammable fumes are forced out)

otherwise carry on.

I don’t really see what good those could do. They supposedly provide a path from the body of the car (i.e. the chassis ground) to the ground, but that’s not the problem. What causes the shock is that there’s no path between the chassis ground and your body until you touch something getting out of the car.

Also, the testimonials on that site are really bizarre. Apparently in addition to preventing static shock, they cure driver fatigue and car sickness in humans and pets!

Link shows bus on snow? How does that work?

How does one pump gas while inside there car?

er, the hold-open clip on the pump nozzle?

I can’t remember the last time I saw one of these.

Have to get out of Florida Louis. I can’t remember the last time I ran across a pump that didn’t have one. LA maybe? Even have them on the pumps here in Germany.

As to the OP, having owned cars that were notorious for the shock, I found that having my hand in contact with the metal frame of the door, or the door opening I don’t get shocked. If I am not consciously putting my hand on metal before my foot hits the ground it is easy to get out of most vehicles without touching anything metal.

They’re fairly common. There more often than not, IME. (And I’m in FL too)

don’t wear pants or any clothes.

keep your hands in contact with bare metal on the car until your feet are on the ground.

I think it’s a state by state thing, they are banned here in Mass (at self serve stations).

The problem is static builds up in the car and you act as the ground. With the grounding strip static can not build up in the car. I agree the testimonials are bizarre :confused:

I have heard the static problem is worse with low rolling resistance tires.

Well, hell, I’m getting older and older. I probably should have said “I can’t remember the last time I used one.” But the way memory is failing, I might have seen one and even used one yesterday. Seriously I just don’t remember seeing one in quite a while. I’ll have to be more observant. Carry on without me.

My Fit does this as well, and it is very, very easy to resolve. Make sure your hand is on a metallic portion of the car (likely the window frame) as your foot touches the ground. The static electrical potential will dissipate through the sole of your shoe with no unpleasant arcing onto your skin. It’s just a matter of developing the habit of getting out of the car this way.

Not true. Black rubber tires are conductive, and provide a much wider contact area than any scam product “grounding strap.”

If new upholstery rubbing on clothing is the cause, then you are charged up, and grounding the car does nothing, if not actually making it worse. (You’ll also get a bad zap if you touch the adjacent car in the parking lot.) Anti-static dryer sheets, or anti-static spray is the way to go.