Can Car Keys Wear Out and Create Ignition Damage?
Absolutely! Because car keys do age, just like any other car part, they do wear with time. Individuals do not expect this, as they do not view car keys as part of their car, but they are. Worn car keys do not all break, however, but can cause serious problems, nonetheless. If you find yourself repeatedly cranking your key in your ignition, chances are the key is worn. Most people assume it is the ignition and make a wasted, and costly trip to a mechanic, when in fact, it is the key.
Car keys are made from molds with cuts to them that do wear.
The worst scenario in a worn car key is when it sticks in the ignition. You cannot get it to turn, yet, alarmingly, cannot remove it. It is genuinely just stuck. Trying to force it out can work but you can damage the ignition. Your best bet at this point is to leave the key in the car, as no one can steal it at this point, and call a 24/7 mobile locksmith with years of experience and knowledge, so the key can be gently and professionally removed without damaging the ignition.
A damaged car key that is forced to turn repeatedly will damage an ignition.
There can be ignition damage also if you keep your car keys on a very heavy keychain, loaded with lots of other keys. This should be avoided and a separate ring for your car key used instead. The weight of an overly heavy keychain does damage ignitions as the weight pulls on the ignition. A weighted down car keychain also can wear the car key as the car key also bears the weight of all the other keys and the car key is generally the MOST used key on any keychain.
Look out for dirt and grime on a car key also as this impacts their effectiveness.
Never use a heavy solvent though to remove dirt and grime as you do not know if you will damage your key. Always consult with a mobile locksmith with experience if you find that you have an unremovable grime problem that does not wash off with soap and water. This type of grime would include tar, cement, glue, and other types of grime that are meant to adhere to surfaces. Do not chip these substances off either as you will damage the tongues and grooves of your car keys and find that the next time you go to start the car, the keys will not work at all, or become jammed or broken.
Remember that your car keys need care just like the rest of your car.
However, have the name and phone number of a good, reputable 24/7 locksmith with you always. Car keys can be dropped into non-soluble substances when you least expect it or break or jam in a door also when least expected. Be prepared and stay safe rather than become sorry by giving your keys a little loving care.