Engine Opel C30SE

The 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder Opel C30SE engine was produced from 1989 to 1993 and was installed on the top versions of the first generation Omega model and the similar Senator. There was a derated version of this motor for an automatic gearbox with the C30SEJ index.

The C20/30 line also includes engines: C20NE, C20XE, C20LET and C24NE.

Opel’s CIH (cam-in-head engine) powertrain line debuted back in 1965, and three years later straight-sixes appeared in the series. And in 1977, their volume reached 3.0 liters. The first engines of this family were equipped with a 12-valve cast-iron cylinder head and a carburetor, such as the 30H engine. But soon all versions switched to fuel injection: the 30NE engine had Jetronic, and the C30LE and C30NE power units had a more modern Motronic.

Finally, in 1989, the C30SE unit and its derated version for the C30SEJ automatic transmission appeared, which were distinguished by the presence of an aluminum 24-valve DOHC cylinder head with hydraulic compensators, as well as an intake manifold with a proprietary Dual Ram System geometry change system. Otherwise, there is a cast-iron cylinder block, a timing drive consisting of a large and small chain, a distributor ignition system and distributed fuel injection such as Bosch Motronic ML1.5.

The engine was installed on:

  • Opel Omega A (V87) in 1989 – 1993;
  • Opel Senator B (V88) in 1987 – 1993.


Production years 1989-1993
Displacement, cc 2969
Fuel system distributed injection
Power output, hp 204
Torque output, Nm 270
Cylinder block cast iron R6
Block head aluminum 24v
Cylinder bore, mm 95
Piston stroke, mm 69.8
Compression ratio 10.0
Hydraulic lifters yes
Timing drive chain
Turbocharging no
Recommended engine oil 5W-30, 5W-40
Engine oil capacity, liter 5.5
Fuel type petrol
Euro standards EURO 2
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (for Opel Senator 1990)
— city
— highway
— combined
Engine lifespan, km ~400 000
Weight, kg 186 (235 with attachments)

Disadvantages of the C30SE engine

  • This is a very reliable and resource unit, without any pronounced weaknesses, but its aluminum head does not like overheating and tuning: cracks immediately go through it from valve seats to candle wells.
  • Gaskets and seals here are not famous for their resource and frequent overheating exacerbates the situation. So the appearance of oil in the candle wells hints at a breakdown of one of the gaskets. And if replacing them does not help, see the condition of the valve cover stud seals.
  • In general, the timing chain here is quite reliable and many drive 300-400 thousand without problems, however, overly active drivers are often forced to change chains already by 100,000 km. Also in this motor, the shoe of the tensioner of the long timing chain is quickly erased.
  • In specialized forums, they often complain about the ignition system and especially high-voltage wires, the engine speed constantly floats due to contamination of the fuel injectors, the idle speed controller or the mass air flow sensor, and the hydraulic lifters cannot tolerate low-quality oil and can knock even up to 100 thousand km.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top