A car which caught fire on Great North Road has caused mayhem, forcing the closure of the State Highway 16 onramp at Waterview and triggering a three car pile up.

Constable Phil Halton said an Audi stationwagon was passing under the motorway overbridge at about 9.30am when the male driver noticed smoke rising from under his bonnet. The driver pulled over and opened up the bonnet which fed air to the fire. This destroyed the vehicle and set a nearby drain on fire for 45 minutes.

"It's [the car] completely gone," Constable Halton said.

"They [firefighters] kept on putting [the fire] out and it'd come back up again because it had a full tank of gas in it.


"We ended up with a three-car nose to tail as people stopped to rubber-neck, it's just caused mayhem further up the road."

There were no injuries but the road was closed for most of the morning as Auckland Council workers stopped pollutants from running in to the Waitemata Harbour.