MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Prevention of static electricity in a vehicle cooling system.

Date: Mon Mar 12 21:42:04 2001
Posted By: Matthew Buynoski, Senior Member Technical Staff,Advanced Micro Devices
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 981414939.Eg

Hello, Roger!

You are correct that flowing fluids can and do build of static charges (the 
phenomenon is called triboelectric charging). This could be either the 
coolant in your system or air blowing over the radiator while the car is in 
motion and/or the fan going.

It is frankly amazing to me that this is occuring. I suspect, not knowing 
what kind of car you have, that some grounding strap(s) somewhere is(are) 
either missing or disconnected.  You might try putting a grounding strap 
from the metal of the radiator to the ground side of your battery. The 
engine block should already be solidly connected to the ground side of the 
battery (check that connection, too).

I'd also strongly advise calling up the manufacturer and telling them what
is going on. They will be far more able to advise you as to the specifics of 
your make and model of automobile than I can.

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