The brake assembly on all Performa and Atlantiswashers is subject to squealing from time to time. This is considered normal by the engineers, and is attributed to a shiny glaze that develops on the surface of the brake stator. Actually this is not a defect more so than a nuisance, and all that is needed is to open up the brake package and lightly sand the shiny glaze from the stator. Of course, only a technician with the proper brake tool is going to be able to do this, so most folks leave it alone. It will not cause any further deterioration to the machine, just makes the aggravating sound..
The leak, on the other hand, means a new tub seal and bearing. It's not so much the parts that cost you, it's buying the expensive special tools to do this repair. Sometimes better to let a pro do the repair in this case.