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TM reader Kythri writes: “I’ve got a 1999 Ford Explorer, and a 2002 Crown Victoria.  As such, I have two key-fob remote controls for the keyless entry and two big PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System) “computer-chip” keys to lug around.  I suppose that I could create two keyrings (duplicating things like my house and shop keys), but I’m looking for something that allows me to carry one set of keys, and have everything I might need (including both cars on it).  I’ve seen those mini air-fitting looking deals (male + female coupling), but don’t really care for those.  Any other ideas?”

Actually, I’m running into a similar problem.  It’d be even nicer if there was a way to integrate a garage door opener as well.  If you’ve got suggestions — even if they’re only partial — let us know in comments.

(Thanks, Dhaval Jani, for the great cc-licensed photo.)


21 Responses to Reader Question: Best Keychain For Multiple Cars/Remotes?

  1. Lee Gibson says:

    I’m keeping my eye on this thing: http://www.key-port.com/ but it doesn’t seem to exist yet.

    If it does? I’m buying three.

  2. Eric says:

    One solution would be to get the same alarm system put on both cars, then you would only need one key fob, just press a button to switch between vehicles, also at that time they could bypass the PATS system, and you could carry 2 thin keys. It wouldn’t be cheap but it is a possible solution.

    One other solution might be to get new keys for a ford focus, or fusion, they have the key fob built into the key, so it’s all one piece. We’ve discussed it on the explorer forum I’m on, in theory it should work, but none of us have tried it yet.

  3. Tony says:

    I have two keys, one for the bike and one for the car. I use a quick release key ring for the bike keys and put everything else on the other end. This lets me start the bike and put the bulky keys into my pocket. In the winter, I would switch out the bike key for a spare car key that I could use to warm up the car while still being able to lock the doors.

    I could see taking this and applying it to having sets of keys for different cars. You have your main key ring with your house/work/shop keys and one half of the quick release key ring. You put the other half on each of your car keys (have to buy an extra key ring for each set, unfortunately). When you take a car, you just grab the keys you need and connect them to the main key ring.

    It also lets you leave the car keys in the car or hand them off to someone else without losing your house keys.

  4. Dazrin says:

    I do something similar to what Tony does, I use a swivel clasp hook rather than a quick release key ring though. I keep my house keys and everything I need where ever I go on a main ring, then have my truck keys (and hitch key/stuff that I use with the truck) on one ring and my car keys on another ring. The clasp is on the main ring. It is big enough that I can put all three key rings together, or I can just take the main ring and the vehicle ring I need with me. I can also take the vehicle ring off when needed to minimize the size. Typically on vacation, I will just have the vehicle ring on me and leave the rest locked up.

    Here is a picture with the type of clasp I have (at the top). Ignore the URL, it was the best picture I could find quickly. 🙂


    It allows for full rotation, can be used one handed, is small enough to fit in pocket, and large enough to hold two/three extra rings.

  5. Blaise Pascal says:

    I have a gnarlyish collection of key rings and caribiners, and attach the appropriate things to the key rings and caribiners. If I had your situation, I’d put the key&fob for one car on one key ring, the key&fob for the 2nd car on a 2nd keyring, the fobs with my shoppers club/gym/coop membership IDs on a third keyring, and my house/shop/work keys on a 4th keyring, and clip all 4 keyrings into the caribiner.

    My collection has, at times, been really gnarly because I’ve wanted to have multiple sets of key rings, leading to multiple caribiners with key rings clipped into a main caribiner. The main caribiner typically gets clipped to a belt-loop.

  6. GAC says:

    Another vote with Tony.
    With 5 cars and multiple fobs, this was the only solution.

    25+ years of the same system.

  7. kythri says:

    Eric: http://www.explorerforum.com? PM me on there with the thread, if you would (provided that’s the site)…

    Also, who makes an alarm like you mention?

  8. Harry says:

    You really need to keep the weight of the mass of keys and other crap dangling from the ignition switch to a minimum to prolong the life of the ignition switch/lock cylinder. I would also recommend keeping those fast pay, speed pay or other non oe devices away from the ignition lock switch to prevent interference with passive anti theft devices.

  9. Tony says:

    Dazrin: “I do something similar to what Tony does, I use a swivel clasp hook rather than a quick release key ring though.”

    That actually sounds like a great idea. The problem I have with the quick release key ring is it’s really damn long, so my motorcycle key is touching my knee when I’m driving my car. I’m used to is now, but a hook like that would minimize the length.

  10. William says:

    I want a key port (http://www.key-port.com/) its sweet. Too bad it doesn’t exist yet. If it does exist please send the link in to TM and have it posted.

  11. Blind says:

    I just went with 3 key chains. 1 for house keys and other common keys, 1 for my truck (which has the truck key and it’s clicker fob and that’s it) and 1 for my motorcycle (which has just the motorcycle key).

    The truck key ring has a hook so i can combine it and the house keys if need be. It’s a lot of seperate key rings, but I kind of like the system, especially since i like keeping my key rings with as little bulk as possible..

  12. Eric has it. You can program both cars (since they’re both Fords) to respond to the same remote:


    Similar “close the door, turn the key twice, tap the brakes, put your right foot in and turn yourself around” sequences are documented for programming remotes to other models of cars.

  13. Eric S. says:

    Ditto with Blaise Pascal on the key-rings-on-a-carabiner concept — but the keyrings-on-carabiners-on-a-central-carabiner thing does seem a bit much.

  14. kythri says:

    Nate: The only problem with programming both cars to the same remote is that when I unlock the doors on one, it’ll unlock the other.

    I suppose I could just train myself to relock them when I start the car I’m driving, but that’s kinda a pain in the butt.

    I’m almost thinking of finding someone to do some custom plastic fabrication to combine the remotes for me…

  15. Kythri, my Toyota has a feature such that if you unlock it by remote, but don’t physically open a door within 30 seconds, it relocks itself. This is so that if you nudge the remote in your pocket while you’re walking away, you’re still protected.

    This makes it easy to train several vehicles to one remote, unlock them all, jump into one, drive away, and the ones I didn’t touch relock before anyone would have a chance to mess with them.

    I assumed Ford had this feature too. But you know what they say about assumptions…

  16. David Culberson says:

    I rekey all my “fixed” objects to the same key: house, garage, ladders, shed, storage room. That was helped along by rekeyable padlocks keyed the same as the house. That means I have two keys on my “home” keychain: car and house. That makes it easy to have a few keychains for the different cars. Since I have five cars (ouch!) of various makes, it would be impractical to carry all of the keys with me all the time!

    The office takes another keychain, but that’s only got two full size keys and four small ones. (Made possible through similar techniques – master key system, rekeyable padlocks, etc.) I rekeyed all our filing cabinets to the same key – obviously that wouldn’t work if you had stuff where you needed to divide access up.

    A Schlage “repinning” kit is about $40 on eBay (I recommend LeeLyn’s lock supply) and a “master pin” kit is about the same. It’s fun, and keeps your brain working. Schlage has an online tool to calculate the pin depths you need.

    Anyway, my point is that through some relatively cheap (and fun) work you can minimize your keys so a regular keychain, comfy in your pocket and easy on your car’s ignition cylinder, carries everything you need.

  17. Dhaval Jani says:

    Hey Chuck! thanks for the credit for the photo. Please write to me if possible on jani.dhaval@yahoo.com… well i am a web designer but still think old fashion key is best way to have less bulky key chain….just think of adding 2 remote keys on one key chain with all your home keys etc and they keep scratching your remotes… and it saves 30 seconds to open the door?

  18. http://www.personalizedegifts.com has unique and affordable personalized multiple ring keychains for sale. They will even engrave them for free.

  19. http://www.keychains4you.com has many valet keychain designs that allow multiple keys to be easily removed. They feature quick releases and they will even engrave them for free.

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