Fuel Cell Repair: Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

What You'll Need
Fuel cell vehicle
Fuel cell

When dealing with fuel cell repair, you may be unfamiliar with the troubleshooting methods. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are used in vehicles. Basically, they are used to make electricity with the use of hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the outside air. There are many benefits to this including less gas emission and pollutants as well as reducing the amount of fuel that you are using.

Step 1 - Check Temperature

Check the temperature gauge to see if there is a problem with the car. Or, if it is winter then this may be the reason why you are experiencing problems. Either way, drastic temperature changes will effect the reliability of fuel cells. Thermal loading is a common problem with fuel cells cars and the PEM. Adjusting the temperature by either getting the heating problem fixed on your car or moving the car into a warmer location such as a garage can help to revive this problem.

Step 2 - Check the Fuel Cell Stack

Gain access to the fuel cell stack. They are stacked together so that hydrogen fuel and oxygen can be pushed through one section or another. You will want to make sure that this area is stacked properly. If not, you can fix accordingly to be sure that the hydrogen and oxygen can get in and out to fuel you car.

Step 3 - Check Wires

You will want to use a flash light to check out the wiring that is connected to the fuel cell. Check to make sure that the wires are all hooked up the way that they should be and they they aren't frayed or disconnected. If frayed, you can replace the wiring with a replacement from an automotive or hardware store. If the wires have been disconnected somehow then you will want to use pliers to reconnect them and make sure they are secure.

Step 4 - Check for Carbon Monoxide Build-Up

A build-up of carbon monoxide can cause problems with your fuel cell and its overall tolerance. You will want to check around your vehicle to make sure that you do not have any leaks or an excess of carbon monoxide which is harmful to both you and the fuel cell.

Step 5 - Replace Cells

You may have to purchase and replace some of the fuel cells if you find that they are not operating properly after each of these steps. You will want to make sure that during the replacement, the cell stack is working properly so that the hydrogen and oxygen can flow.

These 5 steps should help to guide you through the process of repairing the fuel cell and polymer electrolyte membrane. If you are still experiencing problems then you will want to bring your car in for additional work and explain the steps that you have already covered for clarification.