Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: May 2011
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An occasional leak from the water pump sounds like the water pump is going out. It's not unusual for a faultering pump to leak intermittently, probably because of a seal sometimes holding and sometimes not. I would change it before it leaves you on the road somewhere.
If the gauge is moving around, it sounds like a loose fitting. Or, it could otherwise be going out. If you have an infrared temperature gun, I would check the top radiator hose when the gauge seems to be indicating a near-overheat. If the hose is showing around 200F or 220F, it seems the gauge is reading too high for some reason. I'd wiggle the wires and if no improvement, change the sender.
If you had an old thermostat, I'd recommending you changing that. However, yours is relatively fresh, so is less likely to be a problem.