I didn't get a call to pick up the car last night, but I had to work a little late and so had planned to get it this morning anyway. Instead I got a call from the service manager saying they need to keep the car through Monday. It turns out that the car does need an alignment - also a right tie rod end. The two worn tires should also be replaced, but I've had them rotated to the back. As the wear is only to the outer corner of the tread they will be OK for now.
VW can replace the tires, but the price looks high. I'll go back to the tire dealer instead. They did not have time to check the AC yesterday.
All in all, it'll probably be about an eight hundred dollar outing plus the later replacement of the tires.
As I am once again commuting the 90 mile round trip up to South Norwalk CT, the car needs to be maintained.
The car will be eight years old this December. New small cars are beginning to catch my attention. I've been to the showrooms to look at a Scion xA and a Honda Fit Sport. I test drove a Kia Rondo. All three are nice, but I am spoiled by the performance, room and comfort of the Passat wagon. The 0-60 acceleration of any of the others is almost twice that of the Passat, and even a +8 mpg increase on regular gas is not enough to justify replacing the car. It is serving me well so far and the type of repairs I'm making are expected.
It does leave me house-bound for the weekend though.