GM Adds Sidewinder Locks For 2010

July 2, 2009
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Equinox and Buick LaCrosse vehicles initially will be equipped with these sidewinder locks, with more models to be added.

A long with the re-introduction of the new Camaro for 2010, GM has also added a sidewinder locking system. This sidewinder system is not exactly new. Saturn used the same key blade and code series for their 2009 Astra models. Astra is a rebadged Opel from Europe, while the Camaro is all American. In addition to the 2010 Camaro, this same sidewinder system is installed on 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and 2010 Buick LaCrosse vehicles. According to our sources, GM will be expanding this same sidewinder lock system to more car models in the near future.

GM sidewinder keys use a rectangular key blank with internal cuts. Keys should hold easily in any sidewinder key duplicating machine. The code series for GM sidewinders is Z0001-Z6000. There are eight cut spaces and four different cut depths used for this series.

Strattec will have three different aftermarket sidewinder lock cylinders - ignition, door and glove box. The ignition lock contains all eight tumblers (1-8). The glove box contains tumblers in the last four positions closest to the tip (5-8).

There are two versions of the door lock cylinder. Strattec replacement door locks will include a clutch which prevents someone from using a screwdriver in an attempt to force the plug to an unlocked position. When forced, the plug will spin without operating the lock cam. Strattec door locks will contain tumblers in all positions (1-8).

Factory installed locks will have a clutch-equipped lock as an option. Non-clutch door locks reportedly will contain tumblers in the last six positions (3-8).

Strattec includes all necessary tumblers, springs and miscellaneous parts in each lock package. You will no longer need a dedicated pinning kit when keying a GM sidewinder lock from Strattec.

For information on Strattec replacement locks and parts, contact your local locksmith distributor or Strattec Corp., telephone 877-251-8798, web site


While there are only four different cut depths, eight different lock tumbler types are required. Tumblers stamped 1/2/3/4 have the tumbler tooth on one side and tumblers stamped 11/12/13/14 have the tumbler tooth on the reverse side. Starting near the face of the plug, spaces 1-3-5-7 require the double-stamped tumblers (11/12/13/14) and spaces 2-4-6-8 require the single-stamped tumblers (1/2/3/4). My guess is that one benefit of this design is to deter picking. Tumbler teeth are in staggered positions left and right along the keyway which prevents a lock pick from touching all eight tumblers at one time.

Plugs are designed with staggered spring holes. Tumblers for odd spaces 1/3/5/7 are inserted from one side of the plug while tumblers for even spaces 2/4/6/8 are inserted on the reverse side of the plug. The easiest way to load a lock plug is to insert all four tumblers on one side of the plug (example: spaces 2-4-6-8), then turn the plug 180 degrees and hold the installed tumblers in place while completing the installation of the remaining four tumblers on the opposite side.


The specification chart photo with this article shows how to hold the key for depth reading. Hold the key bow to the left with tip of key pointing to the right. Vertical lines on the specifications drawing show the locations of cuts. Observe the cuts on the lower half of the key. A cut nearest the center of the blank is a “1” cut and a cut nearest the outer edge of the blank is a “4” depth. As example, the eight cuts shown on the drawing would be: 12122343.

Key origination information will be discussed in a future article. Blank keys are currently only available in an assembled remote and key blade package. Remote and transponder programming has not been verified at this time.