This paper describes a method to simulate underhood temperature distributions in passenger cars. A simplified engine compartment simulation test rig is used to perform measurements with well known boundary conditions to validate the simulation strategy. The measurement setup corresponds to idle without working fan. The aim of this setup is to validate cases with strong natural convection, e.g. thermal soaking.A coupled steady-state CFD run and thermal analysis is undertaken to simulate the temperature distribution in the test rig. Convective heat transfer coefficients and air temperatures are calculated in StarCD™. The radiative and conductive heat transfer is considered in a RadTherm™ analysis. The strong coupling of flow field and wall temperature in buoyancy driven flows requires an iterative process.Calculated temperatures are compared to measured results in order to validate the simulation method as far as possible. Some of the results are reported in this paper.