Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2006 Subaru Outback CEL p0026/p0028 codes

I’ve got an intermittent check engine light. It seemed to come on after hard right turns (i.e. on ramp to the highway) but now seems to come on whenever. It has gone off by itself and I have had it cleared by a code reader a couple of times. I’ve found it mentioned on a couple of treads and the recommended fix was to check the connections on the two intake valve solenoids. I have done this (sprayed them out with electrical spray and ensured they are tight) but I keep getting the CEL. I could care less if the light was on, but my cruise control won’t work with the CEL. I travel a lot and can’t handle not having cruise. Any ideas? Autozone associates those codes with the the EGR valve ($148) and others have talked about a clogged cat???

If a cat visit your dealer, covered by 8yr/80k warranty.

P0026 Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1)
P0028 Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 2)

I have to be honest. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of an Intake Valve Control Solenoid which appears to be a gidgie that makes small adjustments in intake valve timing. What I’d do is Google “Intake Valve Control Solenoid” and see how they work (might be different in different cars) what sorts of malfunctions they are prone to. Since it seems to be affecting both banks, it’s probably not the solenoids themselves but something they depend on like electrical power or oil pressure. Good luck.

Thanks for the replies. This morning I again pulled the connections, sprayed them out very good and then used a pair of channel locks to ensure the connections clicked into place and were indeed seated. The CEL and flashing cruise did not come back on on the subsequent start. Perhaps that last time I tried this (without channel locks) I did not get a good connection? I will monitor and hopefully this will solve the problem.

A Web search didn’t reveal a clear meaning of: Intake Valve Control Solenoid. Sure, the words, themselves, reveal a little understanding; but, for me, not near enough.
This item is part of the engine design. It should be covered in the repair manuals, such as: Haynes, or Chilton’s. If you understand what something is, and does, you can more easily understand the problem when the system doesn’t perform as designed.
You can get the Subaru service manual, online, by googling: Subaru Technical Information System (STIS). It’s cost a subscription price; but, what is good is not always free.

Well, my repair lasted for about two hours, and then a hard right hand turn onto the highway brought the CEL and the flashing cruise light back on. I also noticed that there seems to be a built in safety mechanism that will not allow be to exceed 4000 RPM with a CEL…if I try to accelerate past that, the car bucks as if it is going to stall. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I guess it may be time to take it to the shop.

update* a member of another forum just suggested that it could be connected to engine oil level (based on the fact that in the hard turn it comes on)…at the very end of my trip today, my oil light flickered, so I am going to check that first thing. I am due for an oil change anyway…Now I will just have to figure out why my oil level would have dropped…not burning oil and don’t see any leaks?? Thanks!

I think that the valve timing adjustment mechanism that the Valve Control Solenoids control is powered by oil pressure – at least on some cars. see

Was this ever resolved?