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I live in a cold climate (northern Canada) where temperatures now are already -20C during the day.

I have a 2007 Ford Fusion SEL 3L which doesn't get driven much and is parked outside, without a possibility to plug in.

The battery keeps constantly freezing/breaking due to it not being charged enough so I wanted to replace it with an AGM battery to get some more life out of it.

Trouble is that the battery is group size 96R, which is apparently a very odd size because there are no manufacturers that make AGM batteries in that size.

96R seems to be 9 9/16" x 6 13/16" x 6 7/8"

What would be a good alternative size to look for?

  • One that fits in the space, so measure the space and check the length of the cables. – Solar Mike Dec 1 '19 at 6:30
  • Have you considered a solar powered trickle charger? You could leave it on the dash and plug it into the cigarette lighter socket. – mikes Dec 1 '19 at 22:56
  • @mikes I have considered a trickle charger, but never solar, do they actually provide enough power to keep the car charged? – Roger Far Dec 2 '19 at 14:47
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The battery keeps constantly freezing/breaking due to it not being charged enough so I wanted to replace it with an AGM battery to get some more life out of it.

I see several problems in that plan.

Firstly, if the battery is not charged enough, the AGM battery will freeze too. It uses exactly the same kind of electrolyte than a flooded battery, but the electrolyte is just absorbed into a glass mat.

Secondly, if the charging system in your car is not designed for charging AGM batteries, you may not get a useful lifetime out of the AGM battery. For example, AGM batteries do not tolerate as much overcharging as flooded batteries. In the winter, your problem is not overcharging so that part won't apply during the winter, but during the summer it may apply.

Your best way forward is to drive the car for an extended period (at least an hour) periodically. As an alternative, you may idle the car, but do check occasionally that it won't start a fire if idling it for extended periods. Oh, and an idling car is a potential target for thiefs too.

I wouldn't throw money at an AGM battery given the problem you have.

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While an AGM battery can better handle deep discharges, it only recovers properly if the vehicle's charging system was designed for an AGM battery. If yours came with a flooded lead acid battery, I doubt an AGM battery will solve your problem. Rather than spend the money for an AGM, just make sure you drive yours at least once every two weeks for minimum 20-mins at highway speeds with minimal electrical loads on. That'll be enough to fully recharge it and prevent battery sulfation. Idling will NOT bring your battery back to full charge.

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