Tender loving care (TLC), as we know, refers to looking after yourself or a loved one in a way that makes them feel relaxed, unique, and looked after.
A massage or drinks with a friend, dancing, or celebrating someone’s birthday are human ways of TLC. But what does TLC mean in cars?
TLC in cars means the same: Tender Loving Care for a vehicle. Maintenance is better than repairs, and this is the same with vehicles. When an owner looks after a car’s tires, oil, body, and interior and service periodically, the vehicle will give back to its owner and last longer.
When giving tender loving care, it might be confusing what a car may need. The best way to know how to look after your vehicle would be to divide it into different maintenance parts. Each part needs the given attention to give your car the best chance to serve you for a long time.
Care For Your Car’s Wheels And Tires
How can you show some love to the wheels of your vehicle? There are a few ways you can look after your wheels and ensure they take you places and get you there safely.
Check Tire Pressure Regularly
When your car’s tire pressure is on the set recommended level, your vehicle will transport you safely and use less fuel. The tire pressure for each car is usually visible in the user manual or inside the driver’s door.
The pressure drops during cooler months, so check the tire pressure once a month or when you plan on traveling far.
Do Wheel Alignment and Balancing
With everyday driving on different roads and obstacles, the alignment of your wheels can adjust. Malalignment can cause your tires to wear out faster and decrease the safety level.
Changing your front tires with the back ones every 6 months to one year is a good idea. This way, they wear out evenly and last longer.
Check Your Car’s Lights
One of the parts of a vehicle that can easily be neglected is the lights. Because you are the driver, this is one part you don’t see and won’t even know if they are faulty.
Make a point to check your lights once a month, and ask someone to check that your brake lights are working. This will ensure you are visible and safe on the road.
Look After Your Car’s Windows
Looking after your car’s windows will save you a lot of money. We cannot predict a pebble thrown up from the road onto our windscreen from another vehicle or a stray bird hitting you from nowhere.
By acting proactively, you can save your windscreen and won’t have to replace the window soon.
Some windscreen glass companies give you a free patch-up when a rock hits your windscreen. They patch it up, and this keeps it from cracking further.
Change Your Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers might seem like a minor deal, but hitting a storm with wipers that don’t work correctly can be pretty dangerous.
These should be replaced seasonally to ensure you can hit a wet road anytime.
Keep Your Car Clean
One of the best-known ways to show your car some TLC is by washing it. But what is so important about a wash, and why should you prioritize it?
Washing Your Vehicle
The layer of paint on your vehicle is not made to last forever, but it can last many years if you look after it.
The color is covered by a wax layer, and leaving the daily debris and insects on the surface can cause the wax to disintegrate. Less wax will expose the paint to harsh conditions and lead to rust.
Washing your car once a week to twice a month, depending on how much you drive and where your car gets parked, can ensure your car is happy.
Use shampoo specifically for cars instead of standard household cleaners, as these can damage your vehicle’s exterior.
Waxing Your Vehicle
The same as a person would go for a facial, waxing can be seen as a facial for a car.
Wax should be applied every 6 months to ensure the protective layer keep any other harsh particles out, like sand, dust, or even UV light. In addition, the wax protects the paint and adds an exceptional shine to the vehicle.
Covering Your Car
You might consider getting a cover when you know your car is parked in the sun and weather for an extended period.
This will protect the outside layer of your vehicle and keep the paint and color in check. It doesn’t have to be an expensive cover; anything that keeps most of the sun and weather out will do.
TLC For Your Car: Oil Changes
Oil changes are essential when maintaining your car. Oil is one of the juices your car runs on, and keeping this clean and on the recommended level can give your vehicle a longer life and smoother ride.
Ensure you check the oil levels once a few months and when planning to go on a long trip. This way, you won’t have to worry about anything on your journey.
TLC For Your Car’s Interior
The inside of your car can become quite dirty, especially if you are a carpool mom or dad. Kids’ feet, pets transported in the car, or eating in the car, can leave much debris and filth that builds up in the creases.
When cleaning your car, ensure you do so for the inside too. For example, vacuum the seats and spray the dash and steering wheel clean of dirt and filth.
You should add some rules regarding the car and how people behave inside.
- No feet or wet bums on the seats
- No eating in the car
- Pets should be transported in a blanket on the floor of the car.
By implementing some simple rules, you can ensure your car’s interior stays cleaner for longer, leading to a better life expectancy for the vehicle.
TLC For Your Car: Fuel Up With Value
You can look after your vehicle by giving it valuable, decent fuel. To ensure this, you can always fill up at reputable fuel stations and choose the cleanest fuel available.
It might be more expensive, but it will save you money in the long run when you add clean fuel to the tank.
TLC For Your Car: Annual Services
You can’t do some things yourself, which is why your car needs to book in for a yearly service. Here they will inspect deeper levels of the vehicle and replace or upgrade certain things the manufacturer recommends for that time of the vehicle’s lifetime.
You get standard and major services. So it is best to stick to these services, although some might cost you more than others. There is a reason why the manufacturers advise the specific services to happen at one particular time.
For example, the time belt service is essential because if something happens to the timing belt, you won’t be able to drive anymore.
Some incidences may lead to the car being totally written off, only because you didn’t attend to your vehicle’s needs.
TLC For Your Car: Driving
Some might think that TLC for a vehicle is only to check everything and keep it clean, but that is not the case. Driving smoothly and adequately will give your car a longer life and protect you better.
By driving safely, pulling away, and braking smoothly, the wear and tear on the car will be less. This saves you money and keeps your vehicle in excellent condition for longer.
Be vigilant when driving or getting out of the car. Ensure all the lights are switched off when locking the doors, ensuring your battery life is long.
Suppose you feel that your car drives differently. Maybe the electronics are messing around, or some strange noises are coming from the brake pedals or bonnet; instead, take the car in straight away than wait for something to happen.
Does Car TLC Really Matter?
Many companies award you for looking after your vehicle. For example, some insurance companies reward you for driving well, and others give you cashback when you fill up your car at a specific fuel station.
Research these benefits you can get, and you might be able to give TLC to your vehicle in a more pleasing way than you thought.
Some companies might even give you a complimentary wheel alignment and balancing when you buy your tires from them.
Others have specials on wipers or windshield repairs. Finally, opt for an extended warranty to ensure you won’t hesitate when something breaks or needs repair.
Your car will reward you for the TLC you give it. By servicing your vehicle frequently and looking after it, you will get a better price when selling it.
With proof of all the services that are up to date, good tire conditions, and a beautiful body, you are sure to sell your car for a price higher than market value.
Just because it has a rigid body doesn’t mean your car doesn’t need some love and care. Whether you want many safe miles or sell your vehicle at a reasonable price, the key is to look after it and spend a little extra time and money to keep it in great shape.