While checking the rear brakes on the Jetta, and flushing brake fluid I noticed that the rear tires were wearing on the inside (too much negative camber) and had worn the tire to the metal threads. It was time for a four wheel alignment. I had Wanda take it to a reputable shop for an alignment, they called me and told me that I would have to get a new rear axle because this one was bent and weakened beyond repair. After work we went to a local scrap yard where we purchased a used rear axle. It was a reasonable $145 after tax. As I set up the car to install the new axle I decided to do some measuring of the new axle as compared to the old one they were the same, our axle was not bent at all. Being a mechanic myself I have a good guess as to what went on, I think the kids that work at the reputable shop did not want to have to remove the rear wheel bearings and axle shafts a few times to shim the axle stubs so they said the axle was bent instead. The fix was to measure how far the wheels were out of alignment using a carpenters level and a tape measure, calculate what angle they were out using trigonometry and then calculate the shim required to correct it, it took a 0.034″ shim on the left and a 0.072″ on the right, it took an hour or two but I got both wheels bang on. The thing that gets me is that they could have fixed it (I even called before I brought it in and asked if they would do a job like that) but didn’t want to, and now I have an in store credit with a scrap yard that I never buy from. It just goes to show that you don’t need an expensive machine to align your car if you are willing to spend some time to do it yourself.