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keychain weight
Old 05-11-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
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keychain weight

I have read that problems can be caused by having too much weight on a keychain (attached to an ignition key). What is the undesired weight limit and how can I measure it?
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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Here's what Click and Clack have to say about it.
8-10 keys is okay
20 is probably too many
Car Talk


I doubt that you'll find anything very scientific or precise. IIRC, the problem occurs when the excess weight from the keys causes damage to the springs and/or pins in the ignition lock. If this is correct, then orientation of the lock cylinder when it is in "RUN" would be important: If the key is nearly horizontal, then there would be almost no weight on the pins/springs even if the keyring weighed a lot.

But, I defer to Click and Clack . . .
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:45 PM   #3
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I have a key ring with a detachable clip for the car key. It is useful for a lot of reasons but I use it when driving to reduce the key chain weight and the key chain would be too long and in contact with my leg if I did not detach it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
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Urban myth! I don't even think the new cars with the weird keys even have "pins" any more. But I have heard that for many years - and I just use the "Valet Key" in my car and keep the one with the Key Fob in my pocket. I usually just drop the VK in the center counsel when I leave the car and "lock" it with the Fob in my pocket. This does two things for me: it lets me reinforce the "myth" and keeps me from ever getting locked out of the car.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:24 AM   #5
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Wife/me have four cars . I keep a separate keychain for each, with the respective car key, house key, and key fob (remote lock) and just take the one I need for my "trip".

- Ron
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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Not a complete myth but it may not be true on some newer cars. I know first hand of two cars that had this problem but they were both 80s-90s vintage cars. Both owners had a wad of keys that I wouldn't want to carry around.

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Old 05-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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Divide up your keys and put some in you left pocket and some in your right to distribute the weight.

Ha ha.

Note that Khan's original post was a joke too, since he would not be asking how to measure the weight of the keys.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:04 AM   #8
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Note that Khan's original post was a joke too, since he would not be asking how to measure the weight of the keys.
He's a she.

My Prius has one of those proximity transmitter/receiver deals where I never need to remove the key from my pocket. Seemed kind of frivolous at first, but now I find it annoying when I have to go hunting for my key while holding an armful of shopping bags when I drive the DW's car. There's an override key in case the high tech stuff breaks down.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:08 PM   #9
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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My boss carries ~25 keys on his belt.

Why he chooses to impersonate a janitor is beyond me.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:01 PM   #11
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how can I measure it?
Put your cat on the scale. Record the weight of said cat. Clip your keyring onto the same cat and weigh again. Subtract the first weight from the second and you're good to go.

To ensure an accurate weight, be sure the cat sits perfectly still during each measurement. Additionally, you will need to make sure the can't do anything to change their weight between weighings (eating, drinking, using the litter box, etc).

Warning, there is a slight chance that you'll lose both the cat and your keys at some point in the process. That's the high price of science!
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:05 PM   #12
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So this is the way new retirees jump start their weight loss programs, by turning in the company car keys. Let's see, I have three work keys, Fluffy weighs nine pounds. Can't weight!
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:31 PM   #13
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I ran 5 liquor stores in the inner city in the 90's. Had keys for doors, keys for safes, keys for etc., etc., and keys for the 4 vehicles I owned. Kept them all on the same key chain--either had my keys or didn't (none of the 'got my car keys but no store keys stories). Never had a problem.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:03 PM   #14
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What I meant by how to measure the weight: If the critical point is, say, 4 ounces; where do I find a scale that measures in 1 or .5 ounce increments?
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:06 PM   #15
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What I meant by how to measure the weight: If the critical point is, say, 4 ounces; where do I find a scale that measures in 1 or .5 ounce increments?
Try your local drug dealer ....

- Ron
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:09 PM   #16
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What I meant by how to measure the weight: If the critical point is, say, 4 ounces; where do I find a scale that measures in 1 or .5 ounce increments?
The produce department of your local grocery.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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What I meant by how to measure the weight: If the critical point is, say, 4 ounces; where do I find a scale that measures in 1 or .5 ounce increments?
Kitchen (food) scales?
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:26 PM   #18
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They have special scales for weight keychains, but you can probably get by with a postal scale.

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Old 05-12-2008, 06:35 PM   #19
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Next time you are in the local Post Office ask the clerk to weigh them.........reasonably accurate.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:55 PM   #20
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What I meant by how to measure the weight: If the critical point is, say, 4 ounces; where do I find a scale that measures in 1 or .5 ounce increments?
Go to the post office and use thier digital scale (wait till thier not looking, or 'accidentally' lay the keys on the scale).

Oops..just noticed R Wood already said to use the PO, but all our PO's have self service scales with digital displays.
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