Tech Tip: Dozens of Additional Vehicle Models Now Factory-Equipped with OAD Decouplers – UnderhoodService

Tech Tip: Dozens of Additional Vehicle Models Now Factory-Equipped with OAD Decouplers

Dozens of the latest vehicle models from domestic and import manufacturers are now factory equipped with overrunning alternator decouplers (OAD). The rapidly growing popularity of this sophisticated technology - now featured on more than 60 popular applications - is changing the way parts providers and repair professionals specify alternators, belts and pulleys for replacement applications.

 “When an OAD was selected as original equipment, the same technology must be used in the repair in order to prevent an unwanted comeback and ­potentially serious damage to the vehicle’s belt drive system,” said Chuck Pullins, market consultant to Litens Automotive. Litens is the exclusive manufacturer and patent-holder of OAD decouplers.

Overrunning alternator decouplers (also referred to as isolating decoupler pulleys, or IDP) help enhance engine efficiency and reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Using any other pulley technology, such as a one-way clutch, isolating pulley or solid pulley, on an OAD application can lead to a customer complaint and additional repair requirements.

Among the 2010 import vehicle models equipped with OAD decouplers for the first time are:
Volvo XC60 — V6 3.2L
Volvo XC90 — V6  3.2L
Toyota Camry — 4 cyl. 2.5L
Toyota Corolla — 4 cyl.  2.4L
Toyota Venza — 4 cyl. 2.7L
Toyota Highlander — 4 cyl.  2.7L
Toyota Matrix — 4 cyl. 1.8L
Toyota RAV4 — 4 cyl. 2.5L
Scion xB — 4 cyl. 2.4L
Scion xD — 4 cyl. 1.8L
Scion tC — 4 cyl. 2.4L
Lexus GS 450 H — V6 3.5L
Lexus HS — 4 cyl. 2.4L
Lexus IS C — V6 2.5L and 3.5L
Lexus RX 450 H — V6 3.5L

Dozens of additional applications, representing millions of registered vehicles, have featured factory-installed OAD decouplers for a number of years.

In addition to enhancing engine efficiency and ­reducing emissions, OAD decoupler pulleys enable the alternator to “coast” freely in cases of sudden belt deceleration. Applications originally designed to use an OAD decoupler pulley are not compatible with any other pulley design, regardless of brand or technology. To protect themselves from expensive comebacks and other issues, parts professionals and technicians are urged to confirm that their alternator suppliers always use Litens OAD decouplers on ­alternators designed for these vehicle models.

Genuine Litens OAD decoupler pulleys are available through a variety of aftermarket sources, including leading national alternator and belt manufacturers and distributors.

For additional information regarding OAD decouplers, and to access a comprehensive free electronic applications catalog, visit

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