Is a Heavy Key Ring Damaging your Car’s Ignition?

March 14 2019, Kelowna Nissan

Is a Heavy Key Ring Damaging your Car’s Ignition?

The ignition switch on my older vehicle doesn’t work as well as it used to. Being an older vehicle, it doesn’t have a starter button. I have to insert a key and turn it to start the vehicle. Lately, it’s become finicky and I have to fiddle with it before I can start the car. Plus, it’s become almost impossible to turn the key to the Accessory position so I can sit and listen to the radio, or as I recently discovered, program a new key fob. Eventually, it’s possible that I won’t be able to turn the key at all anymore and the vehicle will leave me stranded somewhere.

Wear and tear is normal in your vehicle’s ignition switch and key but you could be accelerating ignition cylinder wear by carrying around too much stuff on your key ring.

Along with an ignition and door lock key, a lot of people like to put a whole bunch of other stuff on their key chain – good luck charms, a flashlight, multi-tool, bottle opener, or a pewter Millennium Falcon that weights about half a pound. All of that weight exerting downward force on the key when it’s in the ignition can wear out your ignition cylinder. It gets worse when you’re driving and your extra keys and other doodads are swinging back and forth, causing your key to literally grind away at the tumblers in your ignition cylinder.

Replacing the ignition switch in your car isn’t cheap and a worn ignition can eventually prevent you from starting your car. So, what can you do to prevent premature wear? First of all, remove excess keys, toys, and pewter Millennium Falcons. Your car’s key chain should only contain your car keys and a security fob. It’s never a good idea to have your house keys on the same key ring as your car keys. Suppose someone steals or finds your car keys. They can find out where you live from the insurance documents in your car. Then, they can drive to your house, open the front door with the key, and then drive away with all of your stuff.

If you really can’t part with all of the extra stuff on your car’s key ring, you can add one of those quick release devices that allow you to easily separate your key chain so you can keep your extra keys and good luck charms in your pocket while you’re driving.

Kelowna Nissan installs new ignition cylinders, and also services all vehicle makes and models. Call, or click here to book a service appointment.

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