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People often describe the smell generated by a leaking heater matrix as "damp" and "curry" so it could possibly be that. Is your car losing water at all?Steaming up the windows?

The sound you describe is much like a shot wheel bearing.The local specialist I use descibed it as being a sort of chainsaw type of sound which you can almost play a tune with by loading/unloading the suspect wheel. Not done a bearing myself but doesn't sound too bad apart from the very high torque required to tighten up the hub nut.

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