Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Things You Don't Know Can Cost You

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Things You Don't Know Can Cost You

Article excerpt

As most road warriors recognize, what we don't know can hurt us. So thank heavens for knowledgeable readers like Ridgewood's Peter Peirano who showed up recently in a Pequannock parking lot to rescue a shopper who couldn't get her car door to open.

"My electronic key won't work," she said tearfully.

What could possibly be done? Pete knew exactly what to do.

He put the key in the lock and opened the door the old-fashioned way.

"Your key needs a new battery," he advised the grateful woman. "You should buy one at a local Radio Shack."

But the shopper was in a hurry. "I'll stop at my car dealer on the way home," she said.

Bad idea. The dealer made her wait an hour and a half. And as Pete learned later, she was charged $150 for parts and labor to fix the key.

Was a "fix" really necessary?

Pete isn't sure about that, but he knows ignorance can hurt. He thinks the woman should have checked her car manual first because it advises testing the key with a new battery.

He also checked Radio Shack to price a new battery.

"It costs less than $4," he said.

Here are a few other things that road warriors might not know:

Premium gas signs

As the price of regular gas rises toward $4 a gallon again, Frank Grado has noticed that many stations don't post the prices of premium gas on their signs.

"A lot of stations with cheap regular ... have expensive premium prices," observed the Wyckoff reader.

Might cheaper regular prices be a way to lure unsuspecting premium customers?

Maybe. Maybe not. So buyer beware.

State law requires stations to post their prices on pumps, not signs. But if they do, they can limit the number of prices to the size of the sign, provided both cash and credit signs are listed.

There's no requirement to boost a sign's size to accommodate all grades of gasoline and diesel. So be alert at the pump.

License renewal

The Motor Vehicle Commission recently eased the renewal process by allowing drivers born before Dec. …

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