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Number of keys on a (new Malibu) car ring. (9 too many!)

Over 40 years of driving multiple cars – at the present I’ve got two, one 25 the other 45 years old – I’ve only had one lock cylinder fail, which on 45 year old Fords are easy to replace. But I don’t drive around with 10-15 keys on the chain either. 3 or 4 keys max.

The key has groves and flat edges to guide and support the key and several pounds of weight. The reason ignition lock cylinders fail is because of dirt intrusion, the tumblers stick. Keyless entry has been common for 20 years so key wear is less of a problem, the key is not used in the door lock.

The problem with the old GM ignitions is weak detents to hold the lock in the run position and the angle of the key handle that can be influenced by weight.

We did have this happen with our then 20yr old Datsun 510,(in 1990) but the keys just slid out of the ignition while driving, the car kept running. We normally keep just the house key at most on the same ring but my brother’s set had more. Less common on modern cars.

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That’s what happened on my truck too. But if that was the only problem I’d have lived with it. The problem was it also made it impossible to get the key to move to the start position, not all the time, but intermittently. Replacing just the lock cylinder fixed both problems.

My former work truck, Do not know if it was too many keys, but probably as there were probably 20 keys on the former users keychain, 1993 f250, Did not need a key at all sometimes to start and run the truck.

Certainly “impedes something!”

I’m notoriously forgetful. If I stick to a routine, I can mostly keep track of stuff, but the second I break from it…stuff gets lost. It’s caused me stress, cost me opportunities, a job…you get the picture.

So, I simplify. I have ONE carabiner, with ALL my keys on it. When I’m not actively using a key, it remains clipped to a belt loop on my pants. When I drive…all my keys dangle; chips fall where they may. I’ve NEVER had a car “spontaneously turn off” on me (and I owned a Cobalt, LOL.)

I’ve had ample experience driving cars w/ power steering failures; have driven cars that have turned off in motion (deliberately and otherwise); and have successfully dealt with FAR greater “pucker factor” issues than a stalled car, LOL.

Anyone who can’t safely navigate a stalled car to the side of the road [stinks] at driving, sorry to say, and I’m not gonna compromise my mental health to avoid a “one in a million” chance, that I have already shown I can easily handle in the event it actually does occur.

I have heard enough Tom and Ray suggestions too many keys can cause a problem, now it may be brand or model specific but rates as standard good advice in my book to not overload the keychain.

I guess I’m saying that I’m willing to accept any mechanical failures as an “acceptable price to pay” in furtherance of my mental health, and the safety risks are overblown, especially if you know how to handle a stalled car.

If you don’t have the magnitude of problem I have with organization, I can understand why you might do things differently.

P.S. My 23 y.o. truck now allows the keys to be removed while engine is running. I tend to see this as a “feature,” in that I can start the vehicle, and lock it, if need be, with only one key set.

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Yeah my 93 f250 was finicky, tou could often start it without a key. Do not know if it was multiple key related as it was not new to me.

I have a large can with several tools specific to removing the steering wheel and lock cylinder from Ford and GM vehicles. Most of those tools have been in the can for at least 30 years and I have replaced enough lock cylinders on GMs that I recall replacing a few in the parking lot in the dark holding a flashlight. And while I’m not certain why all those locks failed a great many appeared to have failed due to heavy key rings. Asian imports weren’t quite as common for me to work on but I do recall a few of them getting new locks. Several required installing the entire lock and ignition switch assembly.

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