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Old 06-26-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default Lightning Damage?

Could lightning strikes cause any electrical disturbance that can damage/burn out the computer or any other electrical equipment in these F-bodies?

There was severe lightning and thunder within a 5 mile radius, and I heard my car's alarm go off a few times. Each time was two horn beeps. The thing is that it they didn't go off exactly when it thundered, but rather when lightning sparkled. Does lightning affect the alarm sensor? If so, would the fact that it tripped the alarm indicate any possible penetration of damage?
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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i dont think so unless it hits? im not sure, but ive welded on my car with the battery connected and nothing happend...
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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1.21 Gigawatts!!!!:d
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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1.21 Gigawatts!!!!:d
make sure you are going at least 88mph.. and check the dates on the time circuts.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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All the exterior panels on the F-bodies are fiberglass, right? If so, how resistant to electricity is fiberglass?
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Crimsonnaire View Post
All the exterior panels on the F-bodies are fiberglass, right? If so, how resistant to electricity is fiberglass?
Not all panels... qtrs/hoods on non-ss/ws6 cars..etc....

Lightning would penetrate the thin plastic to get to metal...

*
Yes, lightning does strike cars, usually there is evidence of it though... antenna burned....hotspot...etc..
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:42 AM   #7
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A brand new Acadia with only around 200 miles came in a year ago to the dealership I work at. Struck by lightning while the owner was driving. Onstar antenna was gone. Most of the electrical computers in that car, and there is like 20 or 30, had to be replaced. Insurance picked up the $6000 bill, parts and labor.

At least with an F-body you wouldn't be too screwed if it happened.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #8
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Not all panels... qtrs/hoods on non-ss/ws6 cars..etc....
Do you mean quarter panels and hoods are only fiberglass on the non SS and WS6? If so, what are they made of on the SS/WS6?

LS1Formula88, was the radio/stereo system also fried?

If lightning burns the computer, would the check engine light still go on?

A guy from Autozone told me that an essential chip would be fried. I forget what he called it. Maybe the ECU chip? If so, how could you tell from drivability if this chip is destroyed?

Is it possible for lightning to burn a car's system without hitting it directly (i.e. electromagnetic pulses)?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:13 AM   #9
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Seems to me, that if lightning struck and fried the computer, or some essential chip, that it probably wouldn't run at all. I could be wrong though.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsonnaire View Post
Could lightning strikes cause any electrical disturbance that can damage/burn out the computer or any other electrical equipment in these F-bodies?

There was severe lightning and thunder within a 5 mile radius, and I heard my car's alarm go off a few times. Each time was two horn beeps. The thing is that it they didn't go off exactly when it thundered, but rather when lightning sparkled. Does lightning affect the alarm sensor? If so, would the fact that it tripped the alarm indicate any possible penetration of damage?

My 98 SS did that. We have tons of storms here and about once a week it would go off two beeps a few times. I never knew what caused it, I just went out there and gave her a hug and told her everything would be alright. BTW mine was in a garage.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsonnaire View Post
Do you mean quarter panels and hoods are only fiberglass on the non SS and WS6? If so, what are they made of on the SS/WS6?

LS1Formula88, was the radio/stereo system also fried?

If lightning burns the computer, would the check engine light still go on?

A guy from Autozone told me that an essential chip would be fried. I forget what he called it. Maybe the ECU chip? If so, how could you tell from drivability if this chip is destroyed?

Is it possible for lightning to burn a car's system without hitting it directly (i.e. electromagnetic pulses)?
I believe the stereo still worked. But only after replacing the bcm and other control modules.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:20 PM   #12
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Lightning is a HUGE EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interferrence) generator, just listen to any AM radio when its stormy out, you'll hear lightning on it you cant even see / hear otherwise. If the resulting EMI pulse is large enough to be detected by the electronics in your car (vibration sensors for alarm systems are particularly sensitive) it can trigger a response long before the thunder arrives. However, you'll need nearly a direct hit by lightning to cause any permanent damage, although it's not unheard of damage being caused by a close hit which could cause an EMP-like current impulse in the wiring. And yes, fiberglass body panels do nothing for shielding from EMI. Fiberglass is an insulator.

SS/WS6/Hawk hoods are fiberglass, not metal like the Camaro/Z28 and non-WS6/Hawk cars. All other body panels are the same.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:54 PM   #13
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Cars roll around on rubber tires. Being made of rubber, they insulate the car from ground, much like the coating on a wire. Lightning doesn't hit planes for the same reason, a plane is not grounded. I saw a bolt hit a tree Saturday. It exploded about 40 ft from my TA and 30 ft from a 3rd gen and bark was flying everywhere. Lightning hit that tree because it was near dead and tall, so it soaked up water (which conducts) and acted like a lightning rod. Ground for homes is usually a metal rod buried in the ground with a wire leading to the breaker box.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:17 PM   #14
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My alarm has gone off during a huge storm before, all on the sensitivity setting. Mine will go off at the track if a loud enough car goes by.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManicMechanik View Post
Cars roll around on rubber tires. Being made of rubber, they insulate the car from ground, much like the coating on a wire. Lightning doesn't hit planes for the same reason, a plane is not grounded. I saw a bolt hit a tree Saturday. It exploded about 40 ft from my TA and 30 ft from a 3rd gen and bark was flying everywhere. Lightning hit that tree because it was near dead and tall, so it soaked up water (which conducts) and acted like a lightning rod. Ground for homes is usually a metal rod buried in the ground with a wire leading to the breaker box.
Correction. Lightning hits planes all the time. It just arcs through while moving to another cloud or section of a cloud. But the exterior is isolated.

Atleast this is my understanding, I am no plane expert.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #16
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Correction. Lightning hits planes all the time. It just arcs through while moving to another cloud or section of a cloud. But the exterior is isolated.

Atleast this is my understanding, I am no plane expert.
Yea, rubber gets wet too. Cars are not immune to getting struck by lightning due to the rubber tires, at best the tires just make it less likely. Air is an insulator as well, but it doesn't stop lightning. You tend to be safer in a car from lightning due to the fact the metal body will conduct the strike around you to the ground, not because it doesn't get hit in the first place.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:26 PM   #17
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Guy just got struck by lighting on his motorcycle down here in FL the other day.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #18
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Yep, lightning hits planes and cars. I've never heard of a car strike, but I believe that's mostly due to there being something more attractive to strike, and taller (tree). If it struck the car, you'd have some fried electronics, that's why lightning and computers don't mix Also, the "EMP-like" theory was what I was going to mention as well. There is a shiteload of power in a bolt of lightning, and I've heard my computer speakers buzz a bit when a bolt streaks across the sky, well before the thunder.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:47 PM   #19
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My T/A beeps the horn twice when lightning strikes, well before the thunder. My SS doesnt, not sure why. If your car was hit by lightning odds are it wouldnt run period, all that voltage would fry the electronics. I fly for the NAVY and my plane has been hit by lightning before, we have static wicks which dissipate the electricity, but it does screw with the electronics, usually kills power to the aircraft for a few seconds, kinda of strange with engines running but nothing else working.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.7iroc-02ws6 View Post
Not all panels... qtrs/hoods on non-ss/ws6 cars..etc....
But have you ever seen a 4th gen F-body that was in a hail storm???? I saw a Camaro several years ago.... all the sheet metal was pop marked from the hail... the fiberglass panels were just fine!!!
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:22 PM
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