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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The dreaded check engine light went on today. I scanned it and got P0344 (camshaft position sensor). I ordered the sensor (along with the crankshaft position sensor since I'm going to be in there anyway). In the meantime, the car acted insane at lunchtime. Hitting the gas causes the car to buck like a rodeo bull. I barely got it home.

Just on a whim, I decided to check fluids. Levels were all fine (including coolant) but there was a thick, bright yellow sludge around the oil cap. The oil on the dipstick doesn't look contaminated but this sludge was caked on the cap with a thin trail down the filler neck.

A little background: I have put a massive amount of highway and local miles on the Jeep in the last few months and am way past recommended oil change interval. The oil change is next on my list once I know what the sludge is.

My questions is two-fold. What causes the yellow sludge (remember, no loss of coolant) and can it be related to my check engine light and camshaft code (or just coincidence).

If you say cracked head or blown head gasket, we can't be friends anymore.

Thanks for the help and all the great previous advice I've gotten here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bob, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Sorry for missing that thread before I posted. I did search first (lightly).

The jeep has 160k and other than a few small issues like my current code problem it has run great. My only complaint would be that it doesn't seem to have the "off the line power" it once had and my fuel mileage has dropped lately.
 

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Check you PCV, at 160k miles if you haven't replaced it yet, I would replace it. The sludge could happen from some water condensing in the crankcase, even if the PCV is working properly, but a good working PCV system should prevent it, at least reduce it to the absolute minimum.

I'm assuming you've replaced the Spark Plugs as needed, and if your motor has spark plug cables (a lot of them don't anymore) you've replaced those cables by now. Going more then twice the recommended change interval on the plugs usually results in a very noticeable power drop and rough idle. The spark plug cables (unless they are the new suppression type cables) can deteriorate by 60k miles, definitely by 100k, and bad spark plug cables will cause the same symptoms as worn out spark plugs.
 
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