Whines on acceleration; noise when turning from braking

My Chevrolet Lumina (149k) is due for transmission service about a month now. Tonight I heard a grating, tearing up noise as I turned left pulling out of parallel parking, then began a whine on accelerating. The whine is distinctive. The car made same turning noise later tonight as I parallel parked at home, and made an awful groan when I turned left - not the usual steering groan. The turning ocurred under heavy breaking.

Can anyone give me their best guess what’s going on? I have had a steering noise after a hose or link replacement from time to time. I also have a bearing problem that’s not effecting driveability yet.

Something strange happened last week - the seat belt warning light came on and I noticed my car had great power, less engine noise, and drove like a new car, as opposed to when the light is off. This has happened periodically since a week ago. I don’t wear a seat belt (neck problem), but seat belt light never came on in the past.

If there’s a Ph.D car expert out there, I am in need of help, am scared to death as I have very low income and no way to fix a transmission. If only I could buy a new car for $50 dollar a month payments.