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I assume you have checked the cooling system to ensure that first, that it is completely full of coolant (not just the overflow tank) and second that there are no leaks anywhere. Your description indicates either low coolant level and/or air locks in the cooling system. Only check coolant level when engine is cold. If it needs topping up, add coolant and then run engine at idle with heat control on full, until it reaches operating temperature, topping up as necessary. Allow cooling fans to cycle on and off a few times to ensure all air is purged from system. If coolant was low, then check regularly when engine is warm to see if you can find where the coolant is leaking. The places where the hoses connect to the metal pipes around the engine are the most likely points of leakage or a hose could have weakened and split.
If coolant level is OK and there are no leaks then it could mean a faulty water pump.
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