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Yesterday when I left work, I noticed the temp gauge creeping way above the half-way mark so I stopped it when it got too hot, let it cool down, then drove again until I got home. When I got home, I popped the hood and found out I was low on oil and coolant, so I did an oil change and added coolant. After that, I tried driving again and this time the needle stayed at the half way mark (where it usually is). But when I was at a stop, I looked back to see a lot of smoke coming out of my exhaust. So then I went back home and popped the hood again. Let me tell you what I saw and you tell me if you think it might be the thermostat or the water pump....

First off, there were no leaks of coolant or oil.

Second, even though my car was obviously running hot, the temp gauge still sat right in the middle.

Third, when I was driving around, it took the temp gauge longer than normal to even start climbing

Fourth, (this one is tricky for me to describe) our radiator has two different caps...one is actually called the "filler" cap, but I don't know the name of the other one, which covers the little resevoir of coolant. If you are looking at the radiator, its the resevoir that is to the right and behind the stock airbox. Anyways, I touched the filler cap and that was hot but when I touched the other cap and resevoir, it was cold as if the car wasn't running at all. I had that particular cap replaced 2 months ago, so I know it should be hot after the car is running.

Fifth, the car is idling at around 2,000 RPMS. I'm used to it sitting around 1,200 or 1,300 but its gotten unusually higher lately.

So thats basically it. I had the water pump replaced about 2 years ago, and all within the last year, I have gotten the PCV valve replaced, that little resevoir and cap mentioned above, as well as a pair of valve cover gaskets. Please feel free to ask any other questions that might help you figure out what my problem may be. I sure hope its only the thermostat and not that water pump.
 
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