Michelle King was driving along Maunganui Rd about 12.20pm yesterday when her car began filling with smoke.
"It caught on fire while I was driving. Smoke just filled up the whole car," she said. "It was pretty freaky."
Ms King pulled her car over just past Concord Ave, leapt out and began to stop traffic.
"You could smell the petrol burning. If the firefighters had been another minute or two it would have been 'boom'," she said.
She was taking the car, which belonged to a friend, back to the workshop she worked at when the fire started.
Connor was walking along Maunganui Rd with his friends when they saw the burning car.
"We just told the chick to run away," he said. "It was coming out of the hood. It just came up from underneath."
A tow truck was called to tow the car away.