The Pontiac division of General Motors received a complaint from its customer telling that his brand new car won’t start immediately when he buys the Vanilla ice-cream while it does for the other flavors. The family had the tradition to have an ice-cream in deserts after the dinner and that is after purchasing the Pontiac he could see the car taking time to start whenever he ordered Vanilla ice cream. He wrote a complaint stating his worry, which initially was ignored by the company officials, but, soon he wrote them back in a polite tone and expressed his seriousness about the problem. The Pontiac President took an interest in this issue and arranged to send an engineer to analyse the root cause.
The Engineer went to the customer’s house and drove to the parlor and ordered the Vanilla Ice-cream and as mentioned by the car owner, the car did take time to start. The following day the Engineer ordered the chocolate & the day following to that he ordered Strawberry and observed the engine started perfectly.
With the current happenings the complaint raised by the customer was undoubtedly correct, but, there had to be an explanation to this problem. The Engineer had jotted down all the details including the duration of travel to & fro the ice-cream parlor and the time taken in ordering an ice-cream and returning back to the car. With the meticulous observation, the engineer figured out the time difference in collecting the Vanilla Ice cream w.r.t. the other flavor.
Vanilla Ice cream being a popular flavor was kept at the entrance while the other flavors were kept behind the counter. Due to this the customer would return back to the car in a short span with the Vanilla flavor, the engine would not cool down in such a short span resulting in the failure of vapor lock dissipation. While for the others flavors, the time taken to collect them was considerably higher which allowed the engine to cool down and successfully dissipate the vapor lock and igniting the engine smoothly.