Weird howly/high pitched noise

I have a 2004 Elantra, and lately it's been making a horrible noise.
It sounds like when you dip your finger in a glass of water, and rub it around the rim of a glass. That sort of "howl" vibrating/ringing type
of noise.
At first it did it very infrequently and only quietly.
Lately it does it more and more, and is much louder. It only does it after driving for a while, and especially when I've been in stop and go traffic (as often happens living and working in a big city). After I turn it off for a while, the noise goes away, but will come back. It does not happen every time I drive, and when it does happen it will stop and start.
I thought it was a wheel bearing, and took it to my mechanic who checked and said it was not that. He could not make the car make the noise, either.
Then I thought perhaps it was to do with the transmission which had been shifting late, so I took it to my dealer, and he fixed the transmission problem, and could not make the car make the noise for him. For a few days after I got the car back, it did not make the sound, so I thought it had been fixed, whatever was making the noise. But then it started again. Quiet, at first, but then today it made it really loud after I got off the highway in stop and go traffic. I noticed it made it first when I came to a corner and stopped to wait to turn right. Then it made it quietly while I was driving straight, and very loud when I turned right into a parking spot.
This is very frustrating that no one can make the noise happen, and no one can stop it. Any idea what it could be? Power steering? Some other bearing?
My biggest fear is that the car will spontaneously break down or become undriveable on my way to or from work one day, stranding me somewhere. The AAA is under my husband's name only, and we can't afford to add me to it right now.
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Doesn't that car have 60,000 mi emergency service covered under Hyundai, I've got an 2003 Elantra and it came with that service. There should be a number to call in your documentation somewhere.
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On 12 Jul 2006 07:19:39 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca"

Irene,
Does it make the noise while idling sometimes? If so, it should be easy to find. If not, it may be pretty hard to finally nail it down. If the noise remains while idling, you can usually isolate it pretty easily yourself.
One thing I can offer you from your good description of the noise: It's not a bearing. Bad bearings normally make a "growling" "grinding" noise. Sometimes a bad bearing can cause gear misalignment, and make the gears "whine".
Your description sounds like it could be a vacuum leak. They can make a whistling, whining, or ringing sound, depending on where they are located. They often make a high-pitched sound as you describe. The sound could come and go depending on engine temperature and throttle. The sound often lessens under acceleration.
Vacuum leaks usually drive you crazy before your car finally quits.
Good luck!
--
Bob

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The noise tends to die down when idling, which is the problem. :(
A vaccuum leak, eh? I'll ask my dealer to check that. We're taking it in tomorrow. Anything else we should ask them to check or to do to help identify the noise?
Thanks, Carolyn
Bob Adkins wrote:

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