P0026 trouble code definition

Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1)

What the P0026 code means

P0026 is the OBD-II generic code indicating the engine control module (ECM) has determined that the variable valve lift solenoid for the intake valves for bank 1 takes too long to engage or does not engage.

What causes the P0026 code?

  • The ECM activates the intake valve solenoid for bank 1, but the valves do not change to the high lift position.

  • The intake valve solenoid has an open or short circuit.

  • The wiring or connections to the intake valve solenoid is shorted or open.

  • The ECM is defective or the connection to the ECM is loosing contact.

What are the symptoms of the P0026 code?

  • The engine can experience a lack of power if the valve lift fails in the low position.

  • The engine may run rough or stall if one of the two intake camshafts are stuck in a high valve lift position.

  • The engine will run very erratically depending on the intake valves failed position.

  • The Check Engine Light will be illuminated indicating a problem.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0026 code?

  • Visually checks the electrical connections and wire harness to the bank 1 intake valve solenoid.

  • Clears codes and verifies if the code returns before doing any further testing

  • Installs the test intake valve control solenoid for proper diagnosis and follows the pinpoint test to check to see if the valves change during the testing

  • Commands the test solenoid off and the intake valves should go to high lift

  • Commands the test solenoid on and the intake valves should go to low lift

  • Follows the manufacturer's specific pinpoint tests for further diagnosis

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0026 code

Follow these simple guidelines to prevent mistakes:

  • Verify the failure by clearing the code and seeing if the problem is still present.

  • Do not attempt any diagnosis without special tools like a test solenoid.

  • Follow any pinpoint test done, step by step, to isolate the failure on the system.

  • Do not replace any parts unless directed by the pinpoint or visual test.

How serious is the P0026 code?

  • If one of the camshafts is stuck in high lift and the other in a low lift the engine may run rough and may stall when coming to a stop.

  • The engine can hesitate and have a lack of power during acceleration.

  • The engine may start very hard or run too lean.

What repairs can fix the P0026 code?

  • Clearing the fault codes and perform a road test to try and verify failure

  • Testing the solenoid installed to see if the valves work okay and replacing the intake lift solenoid

  • Repairing or replacing the wiring or connection to the intake lift solenoid

  • Repairing the ECM connector or replacing the ECM

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0026 code

The intake valve lift mechanism is actuated by the lift solenoid, which opens and closes oil pressure to the the lift mechanism to shift it from the low lift lobe to the high lift lobe on the camshaft.

Need help with a P0026 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0026 OBD-II Trouble Code: Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1) and was authored by Jay Safford.


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