Are the plastic battery trays necessary?

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524
Location
Lead, South Dakota
My mom has a 2013 CR-V which is fitted with a wimpy and frankly inadequate group 51R battery. I'm getting a little tired of constantly having to run out and charge the thing, so the plan is to fit a larger battery. Apparently a group 35 will fit without much difficulty. However, underneath the battery there's a little removable plastic tray. This is sized to the 51R battery and isn't going to fit a group 35. Is this tray actually necessary or can I just remove it and put the battery on the steel shelf below? I don't want to do anything that could hurt mom's car, but it seems the trays aren't vital, unless I'm missing something. I know that if necessary, I can get a battery tray from an Odyssey Minivan, which drops right in, but that's probably going to require me to mail order the part as I don't think many Honda dealers stock them.
 
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14,205
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Central NY
They are resistant to the acid that might come out of the battery. The one on my Cherokee is cracked a bit and the water that comes out of the battery has ate the paint and part of the fender.
 
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12,890
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ROCHESTER, NY
Why is there a need to keep charging the batter, does she not drive often? Her car may be a good candidate for a battery maintainer. And yes, upgrade that Group 51R to a Group 35. Or if one will fit, a Group 24F.
 
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littlehulkster

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524
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Lead, South Dakota
She doesn't drive very often, and it's VERY cold where I live, particularly this time of year. There's an aftermarket remote start on the car too, which is probably sucking down a bit of juice. She also has no garage and has to park outside so that wimpy little battery is really getting walloped. Apparently, on Canadian market CR-Vs, a group 35 battery is standard, but in USDM they fit the 51R because it's good enough for people who live in California or Texas. It doesn't cut the mustard up here, however. This is apparently a pretty common problem for USDM CR-Vs if you live in this sort of climate.
 
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Suburban Washington DC
Nothing wrong with 51R batteries. Don't blame unrelated actions on the batteries condition. I have no problem starting a 454 engine at 35F in my RV with just a jump box, and the battery in that is much smaller than a 51.
 
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12,890
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ROCHESTER, NY
My daughter just replaced the OE 51R in her 2015 Civic(build date Oct 2014). I wanted to replace her battery with a Group 35 in the spring but the battery died just prior to Thanksgiving and she lives in PA, - 4 hrs from me so I didn't get the chance.
 

littlehulkster

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524
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Lead, South Dakota
Originally Posted by atikovi
Nothing wrong with 51R batteries. Don't blame unrelated actions on the batteries condition. I have no problem starting a 454 engine at 35F in my RV with just a jump box, and the battery in that is much smaller than a 51.
35f? We have 5 months out of the year where the average high is lower than that, and within my memory we've hit -35F a few times.
 

littlehulkster

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524
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Lead, South Dakota
Originally Posted by geeman789
Put in a sealed AGM type battery, and you will likely have no leakage, and won't need the tray.
Is it even possible for an AGM to leak? Yeah I might just see if the parts store has anything like that. They probably will. I've heard of people fitting 24s in these too so I might go that route for maximum power.
 
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1,537
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TX, USA
Walmart have the tray with their "Ship to Store" free shipping if you don't have Amazon Prime. Whatever you do, make sure they are strapped somewhere. You don't want a battery that goes down under during a trip and pulling everything with it.
 
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littlehulkster

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524
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Lead, South Dakota
Originally Posted by JMJNet
Walmart have the tray with their "Ship to Store" free shipping if you don't have Amazon Prime. Whatever you do, make sure they are strapped somewhere. You don't want a battery that goes down under during a trip and pulling everything with it.
Apparently Honda uses the same battery tiedowns for all their models, so the stock one can hold a group 35 at least without issue. The tiedowns in this CR-V attach to the metal underneath the tray, not the tray so I don't anticipate any problems getting it secure.
 
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VA
FIrst of all, I ain't giving advice as all I would know to is add a battery maintainer. I do have a question. Please don't get irritated because I really don't know the answer. What would you gain out of a "larger" battery? Are you just trying to get a battery with a higher reserve capacity? If it's dying due to lack of use, how will a "larger" battery help? hide
 

littlehulkster

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524
Location
Lead, South Dakota
Originally Posted by Gebo
FIrst of all, I ain't giving advice as all I would know to is add a battery maintainer. I do have a question. Please don't get irritated because I really don't know the answer. What would you gain out of a "larger" battery? Are you just trying to get a battery with a higher reserve capacity? If it's dying due to lack of use, how will a "larger" battery help? hide
Well, you hit a threshold where the battery just doesn't have enough juice to start the engine anymore and needs to be recharged. When it's cold out, the battery's maximum cold cranking amps is reduced, often significantly. The stock 51R in these cars is apparently just barely adequate. It will start the car if it's warm and the battery is fully charged from driving every day, but in mom's case it's very cold and she doesn't drive much. So that means that the battery is going to be low on juice frequently, and it's maximum juice storage is going to be significantly lower due to the cold. So barley adequate quickly becomes inadequate. Which leads to no starts, mom missing church and phone calls to me to charge her car up again. A bigger battery is going to have a lot more wiggle room before it reaches that no start threshold. The cold will still affect it, but when it's got more juice to start with it's going to take a lot longer to get to that point, if it does at all.
 
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Messages
103
Location
WA
It appears many people commenting here have little experience with the small batteries in CRVs. The bigger battery is the best solution to this very common problem. The small battery has very little reserve capacity, and sitting unused the small draw from all the electronics in the vehicle can drain it to where it won't start the engine when cold. After a while it won't start it when warm either. Canada gets a higher rated CCA battery, so it has a little more reserve capacity. Honda's also have a dual range charging system, if it doesn't detect a heavy draw it charges at a very low rate. You can trick it into charging at the higher rate by turning on the headlights or anything that puts a load on the battery. Honda will replace the battery under warranty, but you typically get the same weak battery. After the warranty period they will prorate it on the battery warranty, but again you get the same small battery time after time. Going to the larger group 24 battery is what many people do, this ends the all too common dead battery syndrome these vehicles suffer from.
 
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