screaching noise when applying brakes on 1996 Nissan Pickup (D21)

when apply brakes a noise from the front wheels, sounds like metal scrubbing,occurs when braking, it started Feb 12,2011, 5pm,so it like just started 24 hrs ago, no mechanical check yet. I think i could put new pads on myself, it's the rotors i'm concerned with, how can i tell if they need turning without taking to a shop?

Asked by for the 1996 Nissan Pickup (D21)
I'm not trying to be con-descending, but who does your oil changes? Don't you have a mechanic that you go to on a regular basis.
Back to your problem, most likely you have trashed at least one rotor or both.
I would be checking the rear brakes also, before you trash the brake drums.
Good luck
thank you, EXPERTEC, you were not condescending. everyone
that drives needs a regular shop to keep them out of trouble. it has never been an "oil change"...instead, think of it as a visit to your primary care doctor. he's going to look down your throat, take your temp and blood pressure and all the things that you can't or won't do yourself. when you find a good reputable shop, they will look after you and your car and not try to oversell you trying to replace muffler bearings. However, if you choose to do it all yourself, don't expect a free office visit!!
1 more answer
check your front brake pads, sounds like they are worn out and are metal to metal, some pads have an early warning tab made of stainless steel to indicate when pads are getting low this will give you a squealing sound when the brakes are applied, letting you know your pads are due to be replaced before you ruin your rotor, also a bad wheel bearing can cause uneven wear on your pads so check them as well, and last check for gravel between the backing plate and the rotor.