Litens Aftermarket recently introduced its “Reset to OE” campaign messaging, as the market share for OAD pulleys continues to grow, and the need to educate technicians about this component increases.
With virtually one-third of registered vehicles now equipped with a Litens OAD, and as those vehicles enter the aftermarket “sweet spot” for replacement, bringing awareness about how an OAD impacts a belt-drive system is imperative.
Advancements to improve the performance and efficiency of alternators have lead Litens to the development of innovative technologies such as the OAD pulley. An OAD helps synchronize the belt-drive system via two design elements that mechanically separate it from a traditional solid pulley:
- An internal torsion spring that provides rotational flexibility, absorbing engine vibrations prior to reaching the alternator rotor, which could damage or negatively impact the performance of the accessory drive.
- A one-way clutch mechanism that allows the pulley to rotate freely in one direction (overrunning), while preventing reverse rotation when the engine decelerates or shuts down.
When replacing an OE alternator that came equipped with a OAD, it’s critical to replace with an OAD equipped alternator in order to reduce stress on the alternator and other components, according to Litens.
“As more vehicles come equipped with a Litens OAD on the alternator, rather than a traditional pulley, it becomes increasingly more important for technicans to understand what an OAD does, and how critical it is to the longevity of a vehicle’s belt drive system components,” said Scott Howat, national sales manager, Litens. “As our campaign says, OEMs use a Litens OAD for a reason, and substitution could cause damage to other drive components.”
Technicians never should substitute an OAD with a solid pulley or a one-way clutch on vehicles that were built with an OAD, because OE belt-drive systems are specifically engineered to accommodate the functionality of an OAD.
The OAD provides additional functionality from a simple one-way clutch pulley, and they‘re not interchangeable. An OAD contributes to the optimal performance of the alternator system by providing vibration damping, stable belt tension and protection against reverse rotation. Substituting an OAD with any other pulley compromises these critical functions and can lead to several adverse effects including increased friction, potential belt slippage and an elevated risk of component failure, ultimately compromising the entire belt-drive system’s reliability and performance, according to Litens.
Litens’ OAD coverage for 2023 OE-equipped vehicles includes but is not limited to the Chrysler Pacifica; Ford F-250, F-650 and F-750; Toyota Tacoma, 4 Runner and Highlander; and Lexus.