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Strange no CEL/no crank issue

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    Strange no CEL/no crank issue

    How’s it going guys,

    Ran into a very strange no start issue today on my relatively new (to me) 91 325i. I picked the car up to be a body donor for my S50 swapped is that was totaled in an unfortunate highway & heavy rain spin. Long story short-

    I brought the bone stock 91 325i in to a local smog shop for change in ownership and it passed with great results. I helped perform the test by holding the rpm at the various levels for the test, and turned the car off to go inside and pay. When I returned to the car, it started just fine, and the temp gauge was just under the 3/4 mark I assume from heat soak from having been reved to 2500 for 3 full minutes while stationary in 90 degree outdoor temps- the temp gauge went down shortly after starting up.

    I pulled out of the shop, went about a block, and when I looked at the gauges next, every gauge was dead (reading 0) except for the speedometer. I had never experienced this happening in any e30, and in the moment I thought I should power the car off and restart it to see if the issue changed. When I went to restart the car, there was no cel showing, and obviously the motor wouldn’t crank. No starter activity, no fuel pump priming, nothing.

    My first guess was the fusible link. I back probed that, it was intact. Next I checked the main relay, there were power at the appropriate pins, and the relay seemed to have some buildup around the pins so I went by a local parts store, and they happened to have a main relay, I replaced it and there was no change.

    At this point, I don’t know what to assume other than the DME at this point. I haven’t checked any harness pins yet.

    Tldr; Car was running very well, Gauge cluster went dead while driving except for speedometer, no cel no crank no fuel pump priming after restarting. Checked fusible link, intact. Changed main relay and nothing.

    Any ideas or input would be great.

    Thanks guys!

    I think I read in the Bentley manual that if the DME is not grounding the main relay, the DME should be replaced. Is the DME sending the signal to the main relay to ground it?


      #10 fuse was burnt, everything runs great now.


        There was a 15A fuse plugged into #10 in the fuse box, but from what I’ve read the correct fuse is 7.5A. Any guesses as to what would cause that much of a current draw to blow a 15A fuse in that position?