Engine noises, shaking and jumping

My 2003 Chrysler is making a strange “whirring” noise. It is shaking a bit and there is occasionally a knocking noise near the rear driver’s side tire.

Any ideas as to what the problem could be?

Can you localize the “strange whirring sound”?
In the absence of the necessary information, at this point I would theorize that you could be hearing a wheel bearing that is about to seize up.

However, the “shaking” might not be related to a bad wheel bearing.
And, the occasional knocking sound from the rear is definitely not related to a bad wheel bearing.

Please fill in the missing details:

Odometer mileage?
Is the Check Engine Light illuminated?
Where is the whirring noise emanating from?
What is the vehicle’s maintenance history over the past 3 years? (in detail, not just a meaningless statement like, “it has been well-maintained”)

There are about 187K miles on it,
the Check Engine Light is on,
I have tried to figure out where the whirring noise is coming from, but have come up with nothing. My best guess is that it is coming from the motor itself. This sound is present constantly, even when it is idling (louder when it’s idling, actually.)

The vehicle hasn’t been in any major accidents, and we do regular oil changes. I have changed the brake pads/rotors every time it has been necessary. We keep pretty good care of it.

The knocking in the back isn’t actually at wheel level, instead it is closer to level of the seat.

I suspected that the Check Engine Light (CEL) was on, and for the life of me, I will never figure out why people frequently leave out this very important detail. I would ask how long the light has been illuminated, but…I won’t go down that frustrating path.

What you need to do now is to find out why the CEL is lit up.
You can do that by going to an auto parts retailer, such as Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, or (possibly) Napa, and having them connect a code reader for a free read-out of the stored trouble code(s). The longer that the light has been illuminated, the greater the probability that there will be multiple codes. Then, if you want to come back to this same thread to post those codes, you can get more specific advice.

Regarding my request for specific info on maintenance, your response (“we do regular oil changes”), is not very helpful–unfortunately. “Regular” could mean every 10,000 miles, for all we know. And, there is a whole lot more to car maintenance than merely changing the oil.

I suspect that the “shaking” and the illuminated CEL are related to lax maintenance.
When were the spark plugs, plug wires, air filter, and fuel filter last changed?

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.