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Q: scary noises while accelerating on 2000 Nissan Xterra

Just noticed this morning that my car intermitendly makes a loud noise (not the screaching belt noise) when I accelerate at any speed. I could not recreate the sound in neutral and pressing the accelerator, it only seemed to happen while in drive. I also noticed it sounded regardless of AC on or off? Any ideas?
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Could be a differential, drive axle, or wheel bearing/hub issue, among other problems. Best thing to do--take it into a shop immediately to have it diagnosed. Continuing to drive could cause more expensive damage.
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