Hey guys. I've had my 02 WRX for 4 years now (a little over). Recently I began observing a noise that occurs noticably at about 35 mph plus. It is a whirring noise, almost like a cheap fan with bad bearings, or a toy top metal top spinning on a metal table. It seems to be coming from the center of the car in front of the driver, but its a little difficult to tell. I was hoping you guys might have some ideas before I take it in to be looked at. Here are some facts about the noise:
1. Brakes don't effect it. The noise remains steady whether the brakes are applied or not.
2. The noise is continuous and seems to vary in pitch with speed, though its not noticable at lower speeds.
3. The noise continues when the car is out of gear and coasting in neutral.
4. Its a stick shift, not automatic (of course!).
5. It doesn't seem to be affecting anything, performance or otherwise. I've noticed no difference in gas milage or anything else. It seems to run fine other than that baffling noise.