Q: fluctuating overheating

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I'm having an issue with the temperature in my car. My normal operating temperature is 196 degrees and when I'm driving, it'll hover between 196 and 201. But at some point during the drive (while driving, even sometimes on the eway) the temp on my car will get really hot and if i hit a bump or a pothole it'll slowly start to go down. Sometimes It will be going down, and randomly start to go up again. I just had the water pump replaced, the radiator is less than a year old, no faulty hoses, cooling fans are working. I'm kinda stumped at this point. It's a V8 north star engine, so I've been stressing over the fact that maybe I have a blown head gasket. But I want to be sure before I lose my mind lol Any ideas would be great. Thanks in advance

My car has 164000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like you may have a sticking thermostat that intermittently opens and closes causing the random temperature fluctuation. When your thermostat is not working properly or is stuck closed, this will not allow the coolant to properly circulate through the engine, which may cause the engine temperature to fluctuate erratically or in some cases just remain hot. As the thermostat opens and closes under normal operation, this maintains a consistent temperature by the flow of coolant circulating through the motor. As you may know, if it is stuck closed, this does not allow the coolant to flow properly causing the overheating. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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