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The ELM 327 Interface connector I have won't read the codes of my wife's car when using the scantool software running on my Ubuntu laptop. Most of the time scantool just says "communication error". On just one occasion it seemed to connect and reported "Bus Error. ODBII bus is shorted to Vbatt or Ground" however I don't have a lot of confidence that this is a genuine reading because I must have tried it 20 or more times and every other time it reports the communication error. I have tried all 3 baud settings offered by scantool. I have also tried plugging the connector in before starting scantool (which is the recommended sequence) and starting scantool before plugging the connector in. This connector and scantool work fine on my daughter's 2000 Toyota Yaris, so I don't think there is a fundamental fault in the set-up.

My questions are:
1) Does my wife's 1999 car pre-date ODB2? If it does, what connector & software should I obtain? (my laptop runs Ubuntu).
2) Has anyone else managed to get this combination of connector and software to work on a car of this age or older? The car has a major electrical fault (see posting "1999 9-3 Instrument lights go out, then won't re-start") so maybe the fault is affecting the operation of the ODB port.
3) Any suggestions for next steps before I give up and pay the local garage to investigate?
 

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Pin #7 of the Datalink gets a signal from the main instrument cluster.
Without establishing communication there first, you'll get no communication on DLC.
Check the things mentioned in your other post.
By the way...did you have the red parking brake legend and the oil light indication during your other issue?
 
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