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Old 11-07-2011, 08:28 PM
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Question A shocking wj!

Hey guys & gals! (there ARE some gals here, right?)

This is a question that has plagued me for years, even back when I had Voyager & T&C minivans, my ZJ and my first WJ. In cooler weather, every time I get open the door, get out of my vehicle and grab the door, I get a static shock.

One time, it worked its way through my pinky finger, and literally blew the stone apart! WTF?

What IS causing this, and, more importantly, how can I eliminate the problem? It is nerve wracking!

Many thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2011, 08:45 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

My WJ did it too, but neither my WK or XK does it. Dont have a definitive answer for you. Obviously static electricity, but from where...?
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:54 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

This problem is static electricity which has build up into your body, due to the friction of for example your trousers and the seat (it should be at least 2 different types of material). Its not in fact the colder weater, but normally the dryer the air is, which does increase the amount of static electricity. If you just keep your hand on any part of the car (not rubber, because its an isolator) when putting your foot on the ground, the charge should flow away via your shoe. What also helps is touching gently with your key to the door handle. In the dark you can see the spark of the discharge. You probably remeber the fact of certain types of pullovers, which you could hear a knittering sound when you pull them over your head. Also in the dark you could see sparks. This is also just static electricity, caused by the friction of the pullover with the underlaying layer. Depending on the different types of clothes, the charge could go up to several thousands of volts. The power behind it is very low, so it will not harm us, but it is really "shocking"
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:33 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

I had the same problem with the cloth seats and certain types of pants in my old ZJ. Doesn't happen with the leather in my WJ though. What Frankie said is exactly true about static being worse in the dryer, cooler weather.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:21 AM
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Re: A shocking wj!

I wonder why this is happening; I never had the issue in some of my other vehicles, like my Trackers or regular cars (both Chrysler and other brands). I wish I could figure this one out and how to eliminate it!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:36 AM
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Re: A shocking wj!

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Originally Posted by tommc4 View Post
I wonder why this is happening; I never had the issue in some of my other vehicles, like my Trackers or regular cars (both Chrysler and other brands). I wish I could figure this one out and how to eliminate it!
Did they have leather or cloth seats. Different materials cause different amounts of static buildup. Leather is very slick and doesn't cause as much as cloth.

Another option could be how the door is designed. The inside of the WJ door is all plastic and isolates you touching it from the metal body. So in your other vehicles some part of the door that you use open the door could be metal. When you touch that, you discharge the static build up into the car frame. It doesn't actually disipate through your shoe (soles are rubber) when you step on the ground b/c you can walk to another car or gas pump and discharge it into that. You're discharging it from your body into your car, hence the shock from your finger to the car.

The easiest way I've found to avoid this shock is to partially open the door w/ the inside handle. Then reach to the outside metal door frame and hold onto that while you leave the vehicle. This prevents the static charge from building in your body because it is disipated into the Jeep frame as it builds.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:18 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

All had cloth seats...
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:58 AM
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Use a good fabric softener when you wash clothes.It helps a lot.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:48 AM
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Re: A shocking wj!

take a fabric softner sheet and rub your seats down
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:00 AM
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Re: A shocking wj!

My wife's WK does that a lot...cloth seats. My old XJ used to do it too (cloth seats). I do not have this problem with my WJ (leather). Maybe you should just wear leather pants everywhere you go...ehhhehe. I'm going to try the dryer sheet thing on hers.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:00 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

It's a combo of what frango100 mentioned, atmospheric conditions, and a persons own biology (as in some get shocked 24/7/365 and some never get shocked)
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:38 PM
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Re: A shocking wj!

Donīt think that the person itself makes any difference, maybe only if the person has a very dry skin/hand or more moisturized. Its the combination of different materials which is causing the buildup of the static electricity and once its buildup, it must discharge in some way. In a wet climate or high(er) moisture level in the air, there will be less buildup of the electricity and it also can flow away more easily. When the air is dry its the other way around. There is a table of the most basic materials (the triboelectric series) which shows the different electrical caracteristics of each material.
  • Human hands (usually too moist, though) Very positive
  • Rabbit Fur
  • Glass
  • Human hair
  • Nylon
  • Wool
  • Fur
  • Lead
  • Silk
  • Aluminum
  • Paper
  • Cotton
  • Steel Neutral
  • Wood
  • Amber
  • Hard rubber
  • Nickel, Copper
  • Brass, Silver
  • Gold, Platinum
  • Polyester
  • Styrene (Styrofoam)
  • Saran Wrap
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyethylene (like Scotch Tape)
  • Polypropylene
  • Vinyl (PVC)
  • Silicon
  • Teflon Very negative
The closer two materials are on this list, the less static electricity will be build up when both are rubbed, but also the farther the two materials are on this list, the higher the charge will become.
So depending on your seat covering, you can now choose which material clothes to wear
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