I have a Nissan Micra (UK, 51-plate, 2001 model) that I have been using to drive to work on a daily basis - 10 miles each way a day on a variety of roads - streets, main roads, main roads in traffic, motorway and dual carriageway. Recently while leaving home and work I've noticed the engine temperature raise from starting point to half-way (which I've seen as "normal" temperature") and creep near to the red and then drop back down to normal levels again. It only seems to happen when stopped in traffic - once I get onto the motorway it drops down quick - I guess this may be down to airflow cooling the car?
I've checked the coolant levels and they look fine. When I get home I hear a "ticking" from the engine which I believe is just the engine cooling down. What could I do or need to check?