1988 Ford Escort Headlight problem

I have a GL wagon, and suddenly the headlights don't come on either low or high beam unless I pull back on the dimmer/turn signal switch. Kind of difficult
driving around at night with the switch pulled back while steering and using the turn signals. You pull out the main headlight switch and at the halfway point of course the runninglights all come on, put pull it out all the way, and nothing. The lights come on and the high beam indicator lights up on the dash-but only if you pull back on the dimmer/turn signal switch.
I kind of wonder too if it might be a problem with the main headlight switch. Sometimes I notice the headlight beam will flicker once very briefly and hardly noticeable every 50 miles or so, kind of like it does when a power surge occurs like the air conditioning coming on, but that's not what makes it happen, and it's only been happening in recent weeks. I am not running extra wattage headlamps--everything is stock and original and no add on stuff, like a booming stereo system, etc.
I thought it was the dimmer switch in the steering column, so I spent $35 and replaced it (took only 15 minutes), but the new assembly does the same thing.
After trying to troubleshoot the thing, I came across something called a light switch. On Schucks.com under relays I see they only make "headlight relays" on later models of Escort GL Wagons newer than about 1992. On my car, the 1988, it only comes up as "light relay". Is this the problem? The light relay switch? I don't even know where it is. Near the fusebox, or somewhere under the hood? The internet shows no pictures where it is.
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high beam unless I pull back on the dimmer/turn signal switch. Kind of difficult driving around at night with the switch pulled back while steering and using the turn signals. You pull out the main headlight switch and at the halfway point of course the runninglights all come on, put pull it out all the way, and nothing. The lights come on and the high beam indicator lights up on the dash-but only if you pull back on the dimmer/turn signal switch.

switch. Sometimes I notice the headlight beam will flicker once very briefly and hardly noticeable every 50 miles or so, kind of like it does when a power surge occurs like the air conditioning coming on, but that's not what makes it happen, and it's only been happening in recent weeks. I am not running extra wattage headlamps--everything is stock and original and no add on stuff, like a booming stereo system, etc.

and replaced it (took only 15 minutes), but the new assembly does the same thing.

light switch. On Schucks.com under relays I see they only make "headlight relays" on later models of Escort GL Wagons newer than about 1992. On my car, the 1988, it only comes up as "light relay". Is this the problem? The light relay switch? I don't even know where it is. Near the fusebox, or somewhere under the hood? The internet shows no pictures where it is. =================Sounds like the headlamp switch.
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Where would I find the light switch? Under the hood or over by the fusebox? I bought the car last summer, and I don't have the owners manual...
Thanks!
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fusebox? I bought the car last summer, and I don't have the owners manual...

===================Its attached the the thing you move to turn the lights on and off...
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You mean the headlight relay is behind the pull-out headlight knob on the dash? I saw a similar looking relay (about the size of a square-inch cube) hooked to the radiator fan, and according to the Schuck's diagram, it looked very similar. I was thinking it would be under the hood behind or adjacent to the actual headlights...
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dash? I saw a similar looking relay (about the size of a square-inch cube) hooked to the radiator fan, and according to the Schuck's diagram, it looked very similar. I was thinking it would be under the hood behind or adjacent to the actual headlights... =====================No, your car is old enough that it probably doesnt have a relay. The pull-out part on the dash is directly connected to the switch, in fact the shaft that the knob is on goes INTO the switch.
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Jenny,
I might be able to help out. I just had to swap out my headlight switch in my 89 Escort with my other 89 Escort.
If you headlight knob is on the left side of the steering column on the dash, first you need to remove the panel next to the steering column,then you will also need to remove the air outlet above the light knob. Then remove the knob by using needle-nose pliers to help release the clip and then pull the knob off. You will then need to push the rod through the hole where you removed the knob.
Then you have to pull the switch through the frame inside the dash. You will probably have to jiggle it and push the large set of wires out of the way to get the switch out.
Then you need to release the connector from the switch. Also, you need to check the contact and make sure the contact is on the spring, and not on the side of the spring. Or you can purchase one and replace it altogether.
Let me know if this helps.
Stan

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