Metallic squeal from front wheel(s)
So my 2000 Ranger XLT 4WD just started making an irritating metallic squeaking noise from the front wheel(s) about a week ago. I can't pinpoint if it's both wheels or just one. I've had a couple different people stand outside and listen and they can't determine which wheel or wheels either.
Honestly the sound is the exact same as when your brakes are squealing. The exact same sound. Except it's not just when braking. When I start out driving slowly I can hear it even if my foot is not on the brake. Same when at speeds around 35-45mph. I can hear it as a constant sound from the front wheel area.
When braking the brakes do squeal and it sounds like the same sound I'm hearing now only louder. Ok ... so it seems like any idiot would say, "My brakes are bad." But what confuses me is two things. I'm not really feeling any grabbing or vibration when I brake and I'm hearing the sounds constantly.
Could it be a warped brake rotor rubbing a brake pad? Or wear indicators on the pads? Or even God forbid a wheel bearing?
I'm trying to decide where to go from here. Money's a little tight right now. I can do a front wheel brake job myself for relatively cheap .. but if it's a wheel bearing I will need my mechanic to do the job and he's not cheap.
Ideas? Thoughts? Experience? Advice? Bueller?