YES IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Every vehicle make is different in the way they are constructed and different years have different STUFF.
"My brakes have been squeaking for about a week."
Immediately you need brake pads up front. before it does not stop anymore...&/or you damage the rotors.(which costs more to fix) You do not need the added cost, right? We are all in that same financial bind, not wanting to spend on the car when we do not have to and instead buy more BEER.
. Now there is no need to exaggerate. You have no idea what FISHTAILING IS otherwise you would never had said that. Your whole rear end of the car pulls out and passes you and you are facing azz backwards "almost" >when you fish tail.< Try it in the winter on the icy roads. Basically OUT OF CONTROL.
Not a nice feeling. It is a feeling of helplessness when you have no control.
I am going to guess it is more of something you feel with your butt as your car skids. and ABS lets go and reapplies again. as a rotating wheel slows you down faster than a skidding wheel.
. Chances are decently good you may need rear brake shoes TOO. Not drums, just the shoes. Maybe the brakes are also leaking, but they will not know until they take it apart. That is the only time they can assess the situation. Go with the mechanics recommendations. Yes it is more work for them and more parts installed; but that is normal....if you want to drive a car. Sooner or later it is going to happen.
Really, a mechanic does not want a long job to do on any 1 car. They would rather pump out 10 in a day fixing all sorts of problems because they can make MORE MONEY THAT WAY than bugger around on the same vehicle doing many things. It gets boring. Several hours and your car should be fixed...and ready to roll. The parts are all available. 24 years is nothing. Cars cruise in from the 50's and 40's
Brakes are parts that wear out when they do. Not a financial hardship. Maybe no beer for 2 weeks, but no big deal.
. Have the mechanic write down everything he notices that is up and coming in the future so you are able to prepare for it when it does come around.