intermitances are hard to diagnoise as you have a hard time checking while they are actime up. Aboiut the only thing a water pump will do to make it overheat is leak. The thermostat could be sticking but that is rare that it does it intermittently. I would suspect cooling fans not operating properly.
If it is a water pump problem then usually the temperature will go up when the engine is idling and it will go down when the engine is reving. If you don't have a water temp guage you may not be able to detect this. If you are unsure of which of the two, then replace the thermostat first as it is the cheaper part. See if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't then you will have to replace the water pump.
Thanks to everyone who answered my question. Ultimately, the thermostat switch for the fan was the culprit. I did not know at the time that it was only overheating after a long idle time. Fortunately, I didn't spend the money for a pump before I decided to take the van to a mechanic.
Check to see if both cooling fans are funtioning!!!!
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