New - Maintenance help!


Check engine light came on in the car and continues to flicker on and off. I got the engine diagnostic code and came across the following:

  • P0026 – Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance Bank 1

  • P0028 – Intake Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Range/Performance Bank 2

Before taking it in, was hoping to get some expertise in terms of potential $ damage. I have been hosed before in a few scenarios like this and hoping to just minimize the damage at this point.

Please let me know if I can provide additional info!

I have a GPS unit plugged into the OBII port next to the circuit bank (that is how I got the diagnostic codes - using an IoT platform)

What vehicle and engine? Its maintenance history? Some engines’ valve control mechanisms do poorly with the wrong oil or old oil.

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A flashing Check Engine light indicates a major misfire is occurring.

Continuing driving the vehicle can result in engine damage and destroyed catalytic converters.


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Ah, my mistkae!

It is a 2010 subaru impreza outback 2.5L engine. The oil light was on initially so that could definitely be it… I will get that changed and see if that helps.

yikes - sounds serious…

I will take a look at the link provided and see what I can diagnose on my own

First need is enough oil, always. A close second is oil that meets carmaker’s specs - and not too many months or miles on that oil. Here’s hoping it wasn’t too little oil, and engine damage. Good luck and please keep us informed.

If the oil light was on for any length of time at all… your engine may be destroyed from a lack of oil. It is not an oil LEVEL light, it is an oil pressure light. No oil pressure means the engine is destroying its bearings. The cost of replacing the catalytic convertor pales in comparison to a new engine.

All of this is written in your owners manual.


My sons 2014 Outback has an oil level light that comes on when he is down one quart. Don;t know what year they started that. I think that is one reason there are no so many complaints about their Subaru’s burning oil. I don’t think that most people check their oil so have no Idea their car is down more than a quart when they get the oil changed.

IIRC, that began with the new Outback design in 2010. My 2011 Outback has that warning light, but it never goes on (except at start-up) because its rate of oil consumption is–at most–1/8 qt between oil changes.

When I bought the vehicle in 2010, I decided to keep two qts of the correct-spec oil on hand, for adding between changes. It took me until 90k miles before I used-up those two quarts.

Anyone know how that works? Just being on a hill could throw off that reading. Plus when you drive -way more then a quart is circulating in the engine. Combine those two…and the oil level system could get real confused.

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I had a 1983 Renault Alliance with an oil level gauge, the gauge only turned on with key on and engine not running

From what I can recall the sensor will measure oil level when the key is turned to the on position. The sensor will quickly gauge the oil level with the engine off. After that I believe it periodically checks oil level while the engine is running… I think. But the first half is correct, I know that.

I don’t know how it works but he says it is pretty accurate. He changes his oil every 5000 and it has come on twice since new. He said both times, the dipstick confirmed it was a quart low. I think all cars should have it.

My 89 Riviera had an oil level sensor. It was just a sensor mounted in the oil pan that was activated when there wasn’t oil covering it-either grounded or not grounded, don’t remember. Can’t remember if my 86 had it or not. Similar to the cooant level sensor that required a ground through the coolant to keep it off. At any rate the car used no oil with many hundred thousand miles on it but was surprised when the low oil light went on. Turns out my pan started leaking at about a quart a week. Nice feature anyway. Don’t know what it did on hills but never detected an issue even in Duluth when I was there (see Testers Duluth hill picture).