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1990 plymouth acclaim no brake lights

i have a 1990 plymouth acclaim and my brake lights wont work. i have replaced the brake light switch, the fuses and the bulbs and still not working… anyone have any solutions for me please

Do the tail lights work?

Ground wire?? These things are known to rust if you whisper “salt” in their presence. Electricity won’t flow if there is no ground to complete the circuit. Find it, unscrew it, clean it and re-attach.


The problem might be with the multi-function switch.

The brake light circuit passes thru the multi-function switch because the same rear lights are use for the hazard lights.

And the hazard light switch is a part of the multi-function switch.



Good advice from @Tester. A couple of other checks you can do is to see if the emergency flashers and the turn signals work. They most likely use the same wiring to the lights in the rear and if they work okay then that most likely means the wiring and lights are good. You should then check the middle brake light and if it works that means power is getting through the brake switch and the trouble is most likely in the emergency switch. Try cycling that switch a few times to see if that corrects the problem.

my tail lightss work, the signal lights work, all the light works except my brake lights including the third brake light. the emergancy flashers work only on the tail lights not on the third

Did you change the bulb for the third brake light?

Because the third brake light circuit does not pass thru the multi-function switch.

Fuse #16, 20 amps is good?


yes, i replaced all the bulbs

fuse is also good and yes its 20 amps

Well since the middle light also isn’t working that means power isn’t getting to the lights and the wiring to the lights along with the bulbs are most likely okay. The emergency flasher circuit doesn’t tie to the middle brake light. You need to verify power is getting passed the brake switch using a test light probe. You may not even have power getting to the switch even though the fuse is good. If you don’t have power getting to the brake switch then check power at the fuse. Use the slits on top of the fuse to check for power. You should always first make sure power is being applied to the circuit that is having trouble when you do this kind of work . A good fuse or switch that has no power applied to it doesn’t work well.

ok ill try that thank you

it was a broken wire, got it taken care brake lights are good to go thank you but now i have another problem. i took it to get smoged and everything passed except the fuel evaporative controls functional. i have no clue what that is?

The EVAP system captures the fuel vapors from the gas tank, stores them in a canister, and then vapors are introduced into the engine to be burned.

Open the hood and look for something that looks like this.

That’s the vapor canister.


how do i repair this

It depends on what the problem is. There are a number of components that can go bad, including the interconnecting hoses. How did you determine there is a problem with this system?

It’s possible the only problem is the gas cap isn’t sealing properly. Remove the gas cap and look at the underside, see if there’s anything missing or unusual looking, like a cracked gasket. If it looks ok you could try applying a little oil film to the gasket, see if that helps make it seal better. I have to do that on my Corolla of similar vintage to your plymouth to pass emissions here in Calif. Is the check engine light on? Usually problems w/the evap system are flagged by the computer and a diagnostic code is stored. That’s be the first place to look if it isn’t just the gas cap. The good news is your 1990 model year evap system is much less complicated than newer cars, so it should be a fairly simple problem to solve. My guess is the gas cap. There’s a valve in the gas cap (not shown in the diagram above) which can fail. A new gas cap doesn’t cost much if you don’t want to monkey around with your old one. .

If you could let us know what the error code was it would help us. Hopefully it is just a gas cap issue but there could be other issues, like the wiring to the control valve.

These cars are OBD1 (On Board Diagnostic system) and have a limited number of codes, unlike OBD2.
One can retrieve the 2-digit codes by doing a “key dance” with the ignition key. The “check engine” light will blink out a number of flashes and pauses that can be translated.


This vehicle is OBDI.

OBDI doesn’t monitor for EVAP leaks.


Doubled checked for my OBD I Corolla, and Tester is correct, no evap system diagnostic codes are used. It’s such a simple system I guess they figured codes aren’t necessary. They do test the evap system to make sure it holds pressure during the emissions test here in Calif tho. They way they do it, they remove the gas cap and install their own gas cap which is connected by a hose to a gadget that slightly pressurizes the fuel tank I think. When they do this test they also use a pair of locking forceps to clamp off the purge hose going from the canister to the throttle body next to the throttle valve, the upper right hose in the diagram above. I don’t recall my Corolla having that other hose right below, from the canister to the intake manifold.