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Jeep 2008 Grand Cherokee whirring noise

For the past day and a half, when i start my car there isn’t the usual smooth, quiet sound of the engine starting. There’s a slight delay, and a whirring noise. When i put the car into gear and accelerate, the noise increases in volume and pitch. I think it might be something with the power steering pump or a belt issue, but I’m not fluent in Car and Driver speak. Any ideas??

Check the power steering pump fluid. You may have a leak and low fluid can cause the sound you hear. Does the pitch change when you turn your wheels either right or lef?. I would also check the serpentine belt and tensioner while the fluid is being checked.