By February 28, 20110 Comments Read More →

Lincoln Town Car Headlights Flicker On and Off

Reader Question

1988 Lincoln Town Car…after about 15 – 20 minutes, headlights start to flicker. Put in a new multifunction (dimmer) switch, same problem.

Have NOT tried a NEW headlight switch ($230), but tried 3 different ones from salvage yard and get same results on all 3. I know this isn’t the most logical platform to base a decision on, but it seems unlikely I’d have 3 different switches all producing the same result unless the cause is something other than the switch. Headlight switch seems to get unusually warm, and then I guess an internal circuit breaker in the switch start tripping.

Let it cool down for a few minutes and you’re back in business, with no flickering. I should point out here when they are flickering, I can pull the dimmer switch lever back and hold it and they’ll stay with no flickering. Only the headlights flicker….none of the other lights act in the same manner.

I’ve pretty much determined there is NOT a headlight relay (apparently only on auto dim option, which this car doesn’t have).

I’ve just about pulled my hair out trying to figure what is causing the problem. I bought a clamp-on amp meter and found that the low beam lights are pulling roughly 4.5 amps each. I unplugged the high beam lights to isolate them from the wiring.

At your convenience, sir, any help would be VERY MUCH appreciated.


Hey there Mike,

I had a pow wow with my top mechanic about your issue……ummmmm, we did not really come up with a better solution than a new headlight switch and re-inspect the wires that go to the switch. We have seen MANY of these vehicles that over heat the wires at the headlight switch and cause too much resistance in the wire.

if you had too much current to the fuse box, the fuse should blow. So there has to be too much of a drain coming from the headlight switch….not too much current going to it.

I know $230 is not a cheap guess, and yes you are very correct in thinking that you probably did not get 3 bad switches from the junkyard but we are at a loss as to what else it could be without having the car to look at.

If you can change the flickering by pulling or holding the headlight switch… would think the problem is in the switch. ????

Sorry we cant help more, but we both say, we would install a new switch and make DARN sure the wires and connectors to the switch are in good shape.

Keep me posted as to what happens will ya.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Headlights

Got Something to Say?