Well, my brake-car conundrum did not turn out as I had expected. Not surprisingly, the gurgling sound my car was making pretty much stopped after I made the appointment with my mechanic, which is precisely what happened the last time my car was making funny noises. But since I needed an oil change anyway, and my new brakes do squeal, I went ahead with my appointment.
According to a guy at my mechanic's, my brakes are fine. He said a "different" material was used on the brakes, and I am probably just not used to the sound. Although I feel good (well, better) knowing that there does not appear to be a problem with my brakes, I don't feel great knowing that I can most likely expect to hear these various sounds again. One would think with the money I spent on my brakes in June, I could expect them to be noise-free. One (i.e., I), however, would be wrong.
Worth noting is my mechanic did not charge me to try to figure out what was the wrong this time, although let me tell you my oil change was not cheap. Still, I cannot bring myself to go back to Monro's for those free oil changes. And speaking of free oil changes...
My mechanic also replaced a missing oil plate or cap or gasket or something like that (I am not home to look at my receipt). Apparently, when I last had my oil changed, whoever did it neglected to put that piece back on, and my car has leaked oil (at times) ever since.
In case you were wondering, my last two oil changes were at the local (Cochran) dealership, for free. Last summer, GM sent me some coupons as a "peace offering" since Saturn no longer exists (I have a Saturn Vue). I guess they wanted us Saturn owners to think that even though Saturn has bailed, the local dealership would take care of us regardless.
Yep, I am surely feeling the love.
To sum it all up, I have now ruled out Jiffy Lube, Monro, and Cochran for car work. And there is no such thing as a free lunch.
If only I could fly myself places or teleportation existed...