What Does TLC Mean for Cars?

“What does TLC mean for cars?” is a common question that newbies ask in the automotive industry. Vehicle enthusiasts commonly use the acronym when relating with like-minds. However, it can be difficult for an average person to guess what TLC means for cars.

This article unveils the full meaning of TLC and the actual meaning of the terminology. If you’re interested in understanding what TLC means for cars, kindly move on to the subsequent sections to find out.

needs tlc meaning

What Does TLC Mean for Cars?

TLC means “Tender Loving Care” or “Tender Love and Care.” However, the two terminologies convey the same message. Tender Loving Care (TLC) for cars means performing thorough maintenance on a car and repairing any defective parts to keep the vehicle running efficiently.

Driving can be very interesting until a major breakdown occurs in a car. Some unexpected breakdowns are due to a lack of regular maintenance. So, an auto mechanic can diagnose a vehicle and recommend a TLC on the vehicle.

TLC requires thorough maintenance, which involves washing the car, fixing some faulty parts, and changing fluids. The following aspects are included when performing TLC in a car.

Change the oil and filters.

Tender Loving Care (TLC) starts with changing a vehicle’s oil and filters. Manufacturers and auto mechanics recommend regular oil and filter changes to keep your vehicle running efficiently.

Ideally, you should change your vehicle’s oil and filters after every 3 months or 3,000 (whichever comes first). However, ensure to check your vehicle manufacturer’s manual for the specifically recommended interval to change oil and filters.

Rotate the car tires.

TLC also requires rotating a car’s tires to obtain even tread and balance on the four tires for better handling. It is important to inspect your car’s tires regularly in order to spot wear and tear quickly. Rotating the tires at intervals will help you avoid unexpected malfunctions. Expert auto mechanics recommend a tire rotation every 6,000 – 8,000 miles.

Top off oil and coolant.

Vehicles function efficiently when you check and top off the various oil and coolant. This is because your car’s engine performance is partly dependent on the engine oil, while the coolant helps to overcome overheating, freezing, corrosion, cracking, etc.

Inspect lights and brake pads.

Your vehicle’s lights are as important as other parts, especially when driving at night. Endeavor to check your car’s headlights, taillights, and any other TLC car parts.

Also, the importance of brake pad inspection cannot be overemphasized. Ensure to inspect the brake pads, especially if they make noise while braking. If you find any cracks, damage, or uneven wear and tear, it would be helpful to change the brake pads.

Thoroughly wash the car.

A famous quote reads, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Your car’s appearance speaks so much about your personality. Therefore, it is vital to take your car for a thorough TLC car wash.

Ensure to wash and clean every part that accumulates dust, dirt, and other contaminants that easily lead to corrosion or rusting. Always remember that dirty cars are owned by dirty people, while neat fellows own neat cars.

whats tlc mean


What does it mean when a car needs TLC?

When a car needs TLC, it simply means the car needs tender loving care. If someone says a car needs tender loving care, the fellow is saying the car needs adequate maintenance and repair of faulty parts so that it can function properly again.

Vehicle enthusiasts sometimes communicate with slang related to the automotive industry, one of which is “TLC.” Folks who are new in the automotive industry, especially those who buy a car for the first time, may not easily understand what TLC means.

TLC is usually used when addressing the issue of maintenance and repair of a used car. Some used cars require quick, tender loving care so that they can become standard again for the car owner’s use.

How much does car TLC cost?

Car TLC costs around $550 to $625. TLC for vehicles that have been used for less than 500 miles costs $550, while TLC for vehicles that have been used over 500 miles costs $625, respectively.

However, the TLC car cost includes an inspection fee of about $75. If your car needs TLC as soon as possible, endeavor to ascertain whether it has been used for less than 500 miles or more to know how much you need to set aside.

What does TLC mean in mechanic terms?

Although TLC is an acronym used in different contexts, auto mechanics commonly use it in the automotive industry. TLC means “tender loving care” in mechanic terms. TLC is the slang they use when informing a car owner that their car needs maintenance and repair of defective parts.

Every vehicle needs regular maintenance to function properly. So, if your mechanic says your car needs TLC, they simply mean you need to perform some maintenance on the car and fix some faulty parts so that the vehicle can perform efficiently again. 

What does cosmetic TLC mean?

Cosmetic TLC means “quick fixer-upper.” In other words, cosmetic TLC refers to house maintenance that involves painting, carpeting, and refinishing of floors, as well as other minor maintenance that can beautify the house.

TLC meaning in real estate is closely related to the automotive industry’s meaning. Cosmetic TLC in real estate requires a quick fix on a structurally sound house or apartment to upgrade some areas of the house to give it a facelift.

A home buyer can decide to work on specific areas of their newly purchased house. They may include painting the exterior and interior, replacing the kitchen cabinets, toilets, etc. Most real estate business people perform a TLC before selling a property to attract more value.

Can you still get a TLC license in NYC?

Of course, you can still get a Taxi and Limousine Commission – TLC license in New York City. The state mandates all drivers in New York City to obtain their TLC license to enable them to operate in the city without any legal penalty.

Besides the TLC, the state also accepts a current For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) license. Also, a Medallion For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) license can be accepted in NYC. If you were asking, “What is a TLC license?” It is an authorization that allows taxi drivers to operate in New York City.

Acquiring the Taxi and Limousine Commission – TLC license is paramount if you intend to drive a taxi in New York City. Therefore, it should be taken as a fundamental requirement.

How much do TLC drivers make in NYC?

TLC drivers earn a decently monthly or annual income in New York City. Top TLC drivers earn as much as $7,860 monthly, which sums up to about $94,320 per annum. While the 75th percentile of TLC drivers earns as much as $4,753 monthly, summing up to $57,036 yearly.

On average, TLC drivers in New York City earn as much as $3,727 monthly, totaling about $44,724 yearly. Finally, in the TLC earners category in New York City, the 25th percentile of TLC drivers earn up to $2,559 monthly and a total of $30,708 per annum.

Do you need TLC for Uber?

Uber drivers may not need TLC to operate in every state in the U.S. However, New York City is a common place where all taxi drivers need to have their Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) license before operating legally.

So, if you intend to be an Uber driver in New York City, obtaining your Taxi and Limousine (TLC) license must be a priority. The process requires you to fill and submit an application form online and undergo a 24-hour FHV – For-Hire Vehicle course coupled with an examination at the end of the course.

The TLC application process is strictly for persons between 19 years old and above. It also requires a drug test, fingerprinting, defensive driving course, TLC medical examination, etc.

Final Words

If you were asking, “What does TLC mean for cars?” the full meaning and actual meaning of the terminology have been explained above. However, it is not enough to understand that TLC means tender loving care; you must be willing to perform TLC maintenance on your car when necessary.

TLC is pretty easy for DIYers; however, if you’re not sure about doing the TLC car repair perfectly by yourself, kindly contact a professional auto mechanic who can do the job while you include the cost in your next budget. Remember, every car needs regular maintenance to perform efficiently.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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