Q The conditions of our roads is deteriorating, and you answer questions every now and then where a driver is complaining about potholes, etc. Your response is something along the lines of "the city knows of the problem but doesn't have the funds and it won't get fixed until 2014."

I'm wondering. Has anyone looked into what that ends up costing all drivers in added maintenance costs?

I would think that as our roads get worse there is added wear and tear. Tire and suspensions wear out prematurely, and drivers are more likely to have to get alignments more often. That may be good news for mechanics and auto parts stores, but results in a hidden tax that all of us are paying in one way or another. Maybe keeping the roads up would actually mean that we would save money.

Justin Liu

Santa Clara

A You are "right on the money," said John-the-MTC-Man. "The old adage 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' applies in spades to pavement maintenance," he said.

A nonprofit group known as The Road Information Project (TRIP) periodically analyzes data on the additional cost of operating a vehicle due to poor pavement conditions -- and guess what. San Jose came out No. 1 -- in a bad, bad way.

Three years ago TRIP concluded that drivers in the South Bay top the national charts for additional vehicle operating costs, with drivers paying $756 a year. Here is a list of the 13 cities where drivers pay the most for repairs caused by road damage:

No. 1: San Jose, $756.

No. 2: Los Angeles, $746.

No. 3: San Francisco/Oakland, $706.

No. 4: Honolulu, $701.

No. 5: Concord, $692.

No. 6: New Orleans, $681.

No. 7: Oklahoma City, $662.

No. 8: San Diego, $654.

No. 9: New York-Newark, $640.

No. 10: Riverside-San Bernardino, $632.

No. 11: Sacramento, $611.

No. 12: Tulsa, Okla., $610.

No. 13: Indio-Palm Springs, $609

Do you notice a theme here?

Q The American Automobile Association sent a renewal notice for my mom to my address. She passed away 3-29-06. I don't think she wants to renew her membership.

I called them one recent evening. The phone rep was quite sympathetic and said she would delete Mom from the system. I have had this conversation before. More than once. Usually sometime in April of each year. I am not optimistic.

Amy Sargent

San Jose

A The AAA found that your mother had two memberships in the past and only one account had been stopped. That's been changed and you should not get any more renewal notices.

Q The person who only got away with paying $250 for a damaged gas pump must not have damaged the nozzle. I had to pay $650 for one I ran over! They were lucky!

Michael Setty

Napa

A But ...

Q I felt very bad for the poor woman who drove off with the pump handle at the gas station (been there, done that). This sort of accident is usually covered under the liability portion of the auto insurance policy. That means there will be no deductible for the claim,

Ward Loveland

Redwood City

A And ...

Q I work for an affiliate of Safeway in Fresno where we have a fuel station. Not a week goes by when at least one hose isn't disconnected. For such instances, we bill the driver's insurance carrier, so I am not sure how much of the cost comes back to the driver. On many occasions, people have accused us of deliberately using equipment that breaks to make money on the billing. They don't want to understand the devices are mandated and are designed to keep our air and ground safe from the toxic chemicals.

I've always wondered how it's possible that somebody can't remember to put away the nozzle before leaving until Christmas night, two years ago when I did it at a station in Morgan Hill. I was expecting the clerk to take my insurance information as well, but she had to phone the owner to see what to do. In a couple minutes, I was charged $125 and knowing what things really cost, I was happy to pay it and be on my way.

Bob Lieder

A When fillin' up, folks, be sure to hook up that hose!

Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.