Fault code P0026 is called “Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1)” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.
Technical description and explained code P0026
OBD-II fault code P0026 is defined as “Inlet valve control solenoid circuit performance range mismatch (Bank 1)”. It is set when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects a fault in the electro-hydraulic control system. The VCS (Variable Camshaft System) or VVT (Variable Valve Timing) is normally used.
A code setting parameter is usually a voltage deviation greater than 10% of the inlet camshaft drive reference. Refer to the appropriate manual for the exact voltage deviation at which the code is set for a particular application.
The VVT and VCS systems use pressurized engine oil to actuate the actuators that control variable valve timing. The PCM collects information from various sensors to calculate the appropriate valve timing setting to increase power and improve fuel economy.
Since the engine oil is the intermediary that transmits energy to the actuator, which ultimately controls the timing of the intake valves. The correct type, viscosity and purity of oil must be used to ensure the proper functioning of these systems.
Code P0026 is set when any sensor or other component is not operating within the range the PCM expects to see. Considering the current load, engine speed, and information received from other sensors.
Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions
The main signal that an error P0026 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.
It can also be warning signs such as:
- The “Check engine” control lamp on the control panel will light up (the code will be written in the memory as a malfunction).
- Uneven idling.
- In some cases, ignition skips.
- Decrease of the engine power.
- The engine stalls or fails to start.
- Bad acceleration.
- Increased fuel consumption.
Error P0026 is considered serious, as it directly affects the correct operation of the engine. If it is not corrected in time, it may require expensive repairs.
Factors that can cause this error code
The error code P0026 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:
- Short-circuited or open circuit in intake valve control solenoid.
- Corroded electrical connectors.
- Low or contaminated engine oil level.
- Clogged oil system.
- Defective control solenoid.
- Defective camshaft drive.
- Timing chain or belt is loose or misaligned.
- In rare cases, PCM malfunction.
How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P0026
Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P0026:
- Visually inspect the electrical wiring and the intake valve control solenoid connector.
- Test to see if the intake valve position changes.
- Inspect the timing belt, including the actuator and belt.
- Check the level and condition of the engine oil.
- If no problem is found, test and replace the PCM if necessary.
Diagnose and repair of problems
Starting the diagnosis of error P0026, check the engine oil level and adjust it to the correct level. If the engine oil is at the correct level, of the correct type, perform an oil pressure check.
Low oil pressure is a frequent cause of this code, although not many people attach importance to it. If the oil pressure is out of specification, find and correct the cause before proceeding with further diagnosis.
Checking the wires
If the oil pressure is within specification, conduct a thorough inspection of all necessary wires and connectors. Then repair any defects, but be sure to check the circuit for reference voltage, continuity, and ground contact.
If the wiring or connectors have been repaired, reset the code, start the engine, and scan again to see if the code is retained. If the code persists, there may be an intermittent fault, and it will need to be aggravated to make an accurate diagnosis.
If inspection and testing of the electrical circuit shows no malfunction, the actuators and control mechanisms should be removed. Inspect them for damage or sediment that may interfere with their operation. Clean all components, if necessary, and verify operation before reinstalling them.
If the actuator or actuator controls are operated manually, it is likely that the internal oil passages in the motor may be clogged. Reinstall all components and flush the engine with a suitable cleaner. To dissolve possible sludge or clogging in the VVT or VCS oil circuit.
If the malfunction persists despite all previous repair attempts, the PCM should be tested. PCM defects and failures are extremely rare, but do not rule out the possibility of error P0026 due to a malfunctioning module.
On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently
Fault code P0026 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:
- Chevrolet (Aveo)
- Hyundai (Santa Fe)
- Land Rover (Range Rover)
- Subaru (Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Tribeca)
- Volvo (S40, S60, S80)
Fault code P0026 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P0011 P0012 P0022 P0028 P0300 P0441 P2187 P2189.