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  • Putting too many keys on your car keychain can lead to issues over time, mainly because a heavy car keychain can damage your vehicle’s ignition cylinder.
  • Only attach four to eight keys to your car keychain to avoid damaging your vehicle’s ignition. Alternatively, use a keychain with easily detachable keys and remove the ignition key from the keychain before starting your vehicle.
  • If you’ve damaged your ignition cylinder, it will cost between $10 and $600 for a replacement part.

The humble keychain is a bit of an underappreciated organizational tool, keeping your beloved keys together and not scattered around your house or purse. If you’re carrying around a keychain, more likely than not, you’ve also got more than one key hooked on it.

Unfortunately, if your keychain and keys are on the heavier side and one of those keys is your car key, you might be putting your car’s ignition at risk.

The Risks of Encumbered Car Keychains

When you have too many keys on your car keychain, you increase the risk of damaging the components inside your vehicle’s ignition cylinder. The cylinder wasn’t designed to carry much weight, and a heavy key ring will only put stress on it as you drive. Bumps on the road, sharp turns, or even the natural movement from driving can jostle or sway the heavy keychain attached to your ignition, leading to damage over time.

How To Avoid Damage From a Heavy Car Keychain

Because a heavy keychain can damage an ignition cylinder, it’s best to reduce the number of keys on your car keychain when possible. Try to attach only four to eight keys.

If you really need to carry a lot of keys and don’t want to carry two separate keychains with you, you might want to consider buying a keychain with an easy-to-open latch. That way, you can separate your keys to ignition before starting your vehicle.

Replacement Ignition Switch Cost

If your ignition cylinder is already damaged, you’ll want to repair or replace it as soon as you can. Otherwise, your vehicle might show symptoms like refusing to start, beginning to stall, or its accessories and lighting only working intermittently.  A replacement ignition switch can cost between $10 and $600 depending on your vehicle’s make and model. The price range for a replacement ignition lock cylinder is around the same.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Lifestyle , For the Car Owner
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