Want to get out of the house and do something new? These cheap or free tours will teach you more about the history surrounding North Canton, OH, while also giving you free chocolate or a cruise in a canal boat.

1. Fannie May/Harry London Chocolate Tour

Fanny-May

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Cleaning the outside of your car is easy. Whether you take it through a car wash, or scrub it down by hand, you can get the exterior of your vehicle sparkling in no time. However, if you’re trying to clean up the inside, it’s going to take some effort. There are several things you’ll want to keep in mind when cleaning the interior of your car.

Pick up Junk

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Picture this: your car starts running ragged or you hear an unexpected sound, pop the trunk, and have no idea what you’re looking at. You don’t have to become a master NASCAR mechanic, but you ought to know your transmission from your engine and how to change your spark plugs.

The Basic Engine

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Cars don’t seem to have a lot in common with dinosaurs and dodos, but it’s easy to see the connection between ancient animals and these classic automobiles. Every one of them is extinct!

Hillman Imp

Just like the Loch Ness Monster, the Hillman Imp is the stuff of Scottish legend. When it was put into production in 1963, it became the first Scottish motor vehicle produced in 35 years. More than 440,000 of the cute little cars were created over more than a decade to compete with the popular Mini. But the Mini won the battle, and Hillman shut up shop in 1976. continue reading…

American muscle cars are making a comeback. As these become more popular, it’s important to understand what you want in a muscle car. When you’re searching for the perfect car, keep in mind the following considerations.

Old or New

Old or New

Image via Flickr by Nick Ares

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American-made cars earned bad reputations when Detroit decided to focus on building big, gas-guzzling SUVs. Today, that has all changed. American factories have reclaimed their previous glory by creating some of the safest, advanced, and reliable cars in the world. If you want to buy a vehicle that was made in America, you can’t go wrong with these top choices.

Chevrolet Sonic

Sonic

Image via Flickr by Stradablog

When it comes to small cars, you can’t get much better than the Chevrolet Sonic. The turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine pumps out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which is plenty of oomph for such a small vehicle.

The car’s size makes it feel peppy while also conserving fuel. The 2014 model gets 33 mpg combined with a manual transmission. It gets 31 mpg combined with an automatic transmission.

When it comes to safety, it’s tough to beat the 2014 Chevy Sonic. It gets five stars from the government and the highest rating possible from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Those are tough numbers for any car company to top.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is a workhorse that offers plenty of power without burning through excessive gasoline. If you want a truck for the work site or for trips to the woods, the F-150 is one of the best that America can offer.

The Ford F-150′s EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine roars with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Stomping on the gas pedal will get you to 60 miles per hour in just 6.5 seconds.

Despite this power and speed, the F-150 gets decent gas-mileage. The two-wheel drive version gets 18 mpg combined. The four-wheel drive gets 17 mpg combined. Sure, that looks bad compared to the tiny Sonic, but it’s good for a big truck that can tow 6,700 pounds.

Toyota Camry

Toyota? Isn’t that a Japanese company? Yes, but the world’s economy is more complicated than that. Toyota has dozens of factories in the United States. While some of the profits head to managers in Japan, a lot of the company’s money goes directly to American workers.

The 2014 Camry stands out as one of the best compact cars manufactured in America. It comes in five trim levels, so buyers can choose exactly what they want. Those who appreciate power and speed will choose trims that come with the 3.5-liter V6 engine. It offers 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. That gives the Camry enough power to hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds.

That powerful engine also burns fuel efficiently. Owners can expect 25 mpg combined, which puts it among the top cars that don’t use hybrid technology.

Chevrolet Traverse

Chevrolet was once a prime example of an American automaker that has lost sight of what buyers really wanted. The Traverse shows that Chevy has learned from those mistakes.

The Traverse is one of the best American SUVs that you can buy. It still has a powerful V6 engine that churns out 281 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. However, it also gets 19 mpg combined. That makes it as good as, if not better than, SUVs made in other countries.

Which American-made vehicle appeals to you most? Do you think American manufacturers have made positive changes that will attract more buyers?

Admit it, you know you’re making a statement when you buy a new car. What you don’t know is if your car choice is making the statement you want it to. Based on (non scientific) research, here’s what your ride says about you.

Chevy Suburban

Suburban

Image via Flickr by woodleywonderworks

What does the Suburban say about your life? That you don’t have one anymore. Between your three teenaged boys and those pretty toddler twins, it’s amazing there’s room for all the hockey gear, soccer shoes and strollers, not to mention the Bernese mountain dog you can’t leave home alone. Your day’s a success if you manage to brush your hair before you leave the house to drive the kids around.

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shutterstock_7331536-ogVehicles seem to always be improving. With their advancements, accessories to compliment them have also improved. With all the new ones coming out, it can be hard to know which is worth the investment and which you should go without. Here are some of the car gadgets that are worth it.

GPS

If you love to travel, chances are you’re not opening a map every time you need to get somewhere. There are great apps for that but sometimes those fail and you may not have that service on your phone. Instead of worrying about it, just invest in a good GPS system.

GPS is not only good for travel, it helps in your daily commute. With the system in your car, you can easily map out the best routes to take to work if you’re facing heavy traffic or other distractions. It can also remember locations you visit, which is great if you’ve recently moved to a new community. You may not think you need it, and there’s a good chance you don’t, but you’ll never have to stress out over directions again.

With an average price tag of about $90, this is a worthy investment.

Reverse Camera

Sure, you’re a great driver but even professional drivers aren’t perfect. You may do just fine backing out of your driveway while the neighborhood kids are playing but why not use something that could make it safer? Getting out of a parking space can be a stressful time, especially during a big shopping day. Instead of worrying about missing the runaway cart, the daredevil who walks behind your car or the inevitable car that can’t wait an extra 10 seconds, you’ll always have a clear view of what your rearview mirror might not.

The average price for the hardware is about $150 with installation at around $80. continue reading…

shutterstock_109258415When you’re getting ready to buy a car, there are some things you need to make sure you have on hand. These will allow you to get the car you want at a price you can afford. Before you walk into the dealership, make sure to have the following items ready to go.

1. A Hard Budget

Remember, a car dealership is in the business of selling you a car, but they’re also in the business of making money. When you walk into a dealership, you need to know how much you are willing and able to spend. If you don’t have a hard budget in mind, you’re likely to spend much more than you can afford. Whether or not you tell the dealer your budget right away is up to you. However, make sure you don’t waver. A hard budget is something that should not be dealt with lightly.

2. Prices From Other Dealers

Another good thing to have with you is a list of prices from other dealers. Come up with some cars that you are interested in, and make sure to bring along the prices you find for these. Whether you write them down or print them off, they’ll be helpful. You can find prices from a variety of dealers online, or you can walk around a few different dealers to get an idea of what the cars are going for. Getting online prices is a great option, because then you’re able to find the best prices with the least amount of time put into the effort. continue reading…

Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Convertible cars are the ultimate status symbol, the epitome of looking cool on the open road. You could drive a convertible Mustang or a Chrysler Sebring, and if the top goes down, it doesn’t matter; to your fellow drivers, you’re the coolest road warrior on the highway. If you’ve always dreamed of tooling down the road with the music blaring and the wind whipping your hair, fulfill that dream—just make sure that you’re aware of everything owning and driving a convertible entails.

Put the Top Up

You know how easy it is to forget to roll up the windows or close the sunroof in your current car? You’ll inevitably forget on a day when it’s raining, and you wake up to sodden seats and a wet floor. Make that mistake with a convertible and you’ll need more than a big beach towel to dry up that mess.

Before you get used to driving your convertible, putting the top up isn’t second nature. You have to condition yourself, just like you did when learning to fasten your seat belt and adjust your mirrors.

Make Maintenance a Priority

Although there are ways to get away with keeping the top down a majority of the time, it comes down to more than just smart choices. Don’t forget to take care of your top either. In very inclement weather, park the car in a garage if possible. Keep an eye and ear out for any catches or grinding noises when the top goes up or down, as well, and stay mindful of any rips or tears in a soft top. continue reading…