Monday, May 30, 2016

Too Many Keys

Originally published July 19th, 2009.

Too many keys? Ya, too many keys….hanging out of your cars ignition.

We’ve touched on reasons for auto ignition failures before and heres another bit of information to make your car that much more worry free.

Heavy or or overstuffed key rings are probably the largest contributor to auto ignition failure. Imagine if you would taking 2 pieces of metal and rubbing them together for a couple of minutes. OK not much happens here. Now take those same pieces of metal and rub them together a couple of hours a day and do that every day for a couple of months. Notice anything now. Not that you are really going to do this, but imagine what would happen to them if you did. You would most likely see substantial wear on them. Much the same thing happens in your car’s ignition and key when you have a heavy key ring. Fixing the key isn’t too bad. Most locksmiths can cut you a key back to factory specifications and have you on your way in a reasonably short amount of time and at not too much expense.  If you  have a “chip” key the cost can go up substantially. However, when an ignition fails it can be a whole new ball game. Ignitions, even ones that don’t use chip keys can be quite expensive. Most brands of autos use the same ignition for cars with and without chip keys. The difference is the antenna near the ignition that picks up the signal from the key.

Locksmiths are not the only ones who fix ignitions. Some mechanics do as well. The difference is most mechanics will put in a randomly keyed ignition and you end up with 2 keys to what should be a one key car. A locksmith, well I can’t say all, but most will key the new ignition back to the original key so you still have a one key car.

I will admit that there are several autos out there that have ignitions in them that are prone to premature failure no matter how careful you are. And failure doesn’t necessarily mean that the ignition will not turn on. I’ve replaced many GM ignitions that failed due to a sensor in the lock. In this case the key will turn on, however, you get a “no crank” situation and a blinking “theft” indicator on the instrument cluster.

Some ways to keep from causing to much wear on your ignition are.

Have a separate key ring with just your ignition, door key and remote on.Use a quick disconnect or release type key ring so you can detach you ignition key from the rest of the ring when being used in you vehicle.

Quick Release Key Ring

We do not advise simply leaving your key in the ignition in your car. This is just inviting auto theft and many insurance companies will not cover a claim when an auto is stolen in this situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment