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I would assume that the switch is bad, given that it turns on when you hold it. I would open up the switch and make sure it continues to make contact when you let go. You might be able to move some stuff in the switch to make it work properly, or you may need to get a new switch.
 

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If the switch does not stay in when you push on it, it is time for a new switch. Ford used some really cheap a** plastic to make the switch.
I use a dime on the short flat side of mine to keep it on when I need the defogger.
 

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I think anyone who had already gotten one from a salvage yard is going to hang onto it - as I expected it will eventually fail. I have 3 2nd gen. Escorts. On the 94 it sill works, on 91 and the 92 it doesnt. On the 92 I replaced it with two momentary push buttons, that control a common 12v 30 amp relay. That scheme also has the advantage that it shuts off when the ignition is off, or when I turn it off. The OEM switch seems to stay on indefinitely if you forget about it.
There is a tiny spring in the OEM switch, smaller than any replacement I have found. Its what keeps the switch in the 'down' position, or it did before it rusted away.
 
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