I recently noticed a loud whining noise coming from the engine compartment yesterday. It seems to be coming from the AC compressor. The noise happens when the AC is off. It gets louder as the belts spin faster. Once I turn the AC on, the whining goes away. As soon as I shut the AC off, the whining starts in again. Could this possibly be a bad AC compressor bearing? The belts look fine and are tight. Could this be a sign that my AC compressor could be going soon? Has anyone else noticed this problem?
The car is a 2003 WRX with 52,000 miles on it.