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2001 VW Beetle makes weird noises

My 2001 VW New Beetle has started making a loud, whining noise coming from outside the car along w/ some buzzing whenever I am driving. I find that I have to change gears about 10 miles sooner than I should in order to stop the noise. But now it’s happening in 5th gear occasionally too, and of course I can’t go to a higher gear to make it shut up. What could this mean?

If you can also hear the noise when standing next to the car while it is idling, then I would suspect that the fuel pump is dying. Is the noise coming from the rear of the car by any chance?

Thanks for your reply! It doesn’t happen when the car is idling. Just when driving. I’m not sure if it’s coming from the back of the car… I think it might be the middle or front, but it’s hard to tell.

Have you had the transmission looked at? fluid levels, and when was the gear last oil change?

Do you see any puddles under the car after it’s parked for a while? If so, can you make out what kind of fluid it could be (not the A/C condensation, that’s OK)?