Bertha goes into the shop tonight. I'm glad the brakes decided to start making that horrible grinding noise AFTER I'd returned from my 1800 mile round trip. 64,000 miles on an 2005 Nissan Xterra & this will only be the second time I've needed new brake pads - not bad, I think.
She needs new wiper blades and an oil change, which I'd meant to get to before the trip but didn't. Hopefully they can also find the source of that rattling sound under the hood - sounds like it could be a fan blade on a wire.