When the engine is cold (start up for the first time in a day) it will idle fine, but check engine light is on (PO344). Also the engine will jerk/stutter when accelerating. After a short trip or two (shutting the engine down, starting up again) it will accelerate smoothly and eventually the check engine light will turn off. I had a similar problem with an 89 Dodge Ram B250 van I once owned and it turned out to be a faulty fuel injector that would intermittently cut off fuel to the cylinder. Wondering if I might be having the same issue now.
My car has 116000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
Although faulty fuel injectors could cause the issue you are describing, the symptoms associated with the diagnostic trouble code you found, namely P0344 are consistent with the symptoms that you are reporting. Consequently, you are better off resolving the fault(s) behind the P0344 Code and then see if resolution of those faults fixes the problem for you. If not, additional diagnostics on the fuel, ignition or air induction systems would be required to find the fault.
When diagnostic trouble code P0344 sets that means that the normal signal output to the PCM is missing, at one point or another, from the camshaft position sensors. This is usually due to an electrical circuit fault. Consequently, the things to test for are: an open or shorted camshaft position sensor, a faulty camshaft position sensor, poor electrical connection to the camshaft position sensor, a faulty starter motor, a weak or dead battery, and a short in the starting system circuit. The reason the starting circuit, or a bad battery (you should load test your battery to determine its condition) can be implicated in P0344 is due to the large voltage drop that such faults induce in the car’s electrical system. If you desire that this problem be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request a P0344 check engine light diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.