Can't get diagnostic engine light to flash

I have a 1996 Geo Prizm, which is identical to the Toyota Corolla. The engine light has been on a few days and today I tried shorting out the two
terminals in the diagnostic box to check the code but the engine light does not flash at all as it is supposed to to let me know the code. I know I'm shorting the right terminals because I have the manual for this vehicle and have double checked this. Also I tried once with the engine running and the RPM dropped when I shorted it, so I know it's making contact. I'm using a metal paperclip. I tried shorting then turning ignition to ON and also turning ignition to ON first then shorting, still the engine light doesn't flash, it just stays on. What am I doing wrong and how can I find out what error code I have?
Thanks,
Casey
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I'm not familiar with the Prism in particularly, but your car was produced around the time that the OBD II system was coming out so you may have a different system. Look under the driver's side of the dashboard, usually to the left of the steering column, for a check connector port, shaped similarly to a printer cable port but about twice as high.. If your vehicle is equipped with an OBD II system, then you will need an OBD II scanner, which you can often borrow for free from parts stores.
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Ray O
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Thanks for the tip. I found out that it does in fact have an OBD II system. I got it scanned for free at Autozone.
Casey
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