I'm shocked! I guess driving the MINI is just electrifying! (har har. Two bad jokes i know i know)
Seriously though, it's the cloth seats. Something about your moving about in combination with your clothes is causing the static to build up. Try putting those anti-static sheets in the dryer, honestly. Also, if you touch the handle with something metal that you're holding (like a ring), you wont feel the shock even though the static will discharge.
When I have this problem, and I have on many cars, I conveniently touch my calf to the running board as I step out of the car. Somehow, getting shocked in the calf is not as bad my figure getting shocked by the door handle.
If I'd only known about the dryer sheets before! My MINI never shocks me. Maybe because I have leatherette. Now that I've said so, I'll probably get a big shock today at lunch.
Indi Blue MCS, Born Sep-13
Sport, Premium, Roof Rack
I'm pretty sure it the seats one way or another. Either that or you're wearing a fleece jacket or something similar. The problem is, with the rubbing of the materials you and the material build up a static charge. The first time you touch something metal (like the car) your body will discharge into it, creating the "zap". It doesn't matter that the car isn't grounded, as it is a large metal object that's relatively neutral. It's essentially a large neutral reserve for the extra electrons to flow into.
Example... You run around on a carpeted floor with your socks on, squirm around in a plastic school chair (like we've got in school), or anything simimlar to build up a static charge. When you touch someone, you'll "shock" them a bit (often quite fun to do on purpose). You can still shock them even if they have rubber shoes on and aren't grounded. They're just more neutral than you are, so some of the charge flows into them until an equilibrium is reached...
Used to get this all the time with another of my cars that had a velour interior. You could strap yourself with a heavy ground lead to any metal chassis part of the car to constantly drain off the static charge. Of course, if you forget to un-clip when you go to get out, you'll fall on your arse, prompting huge amounts of laughter and ridicule from other people in the parking lot.
Try holding you key in you hand and touching the door handle with it first. That should relieve the static charge without giving you a jolt. You probably don't even have to actually touch the handle just get close, the spark should jump the gap.
Motor on, Dudes and Dudettes!!!
'06 MCS SB/S
R84s(Kumho Ecsta AST, summer), R81s(Nokian Haakapiilatta 2, winter)
'02 MCS DS/W (retired)
Engineering lesson: Your car is grounded. It has a battery, which grounds through the body. Otherwise you're entirely correct. It doesn't happen to me on my seats though, I guess my personality isn't as electric. Also I don't wear fuzzy clothing. Especially as its winter if you wear a wool or fleece jacket and have cloth seats, yowch!
Magic 8-ball was correct. All be in awe of Magic 8 ball.
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