i had a saturn in 98 that developed a noise like a bearing. turned out to be in the transmission...a pitted bearing. i believe it must have been in the drive (output to wheels area). the car was 2k out of warrenty. i thought they would honor it anyway. no such luck. the minute u passed the warrenty, it was over.
i've know of people with other viehicles that the dealers did the work without charge anyway. don't know if they wer reembursed by factory of just chalked it up to good will.