This paper summarizes a common project of Mercedes-Benz and FKFS (Research Institute of Automotive Engineering) to apply numerical methods to thermal soak issues in a very early stage of the development phase of a new car. “Thermal soak” results from driving the vehicle at high load followed by shutting off the engine and a cool down phase. After stopping, the underhood flow is only driven by natural convection.The thermal soak behaviour is discussed in principal and the numerical challenges are summarized. Four different issues are identified: the need for a transient computation including transient thermal load pattern, a method to compute natural convection in the underhood after the shutdown of the engine, the complex geometry and the lack of a single computational program to consider all three modes of heat transfer, which results in a coupled numerical approach. Based on these premises a numerical method is developed and validated for a simplified test case as well as for a full vehicle. Therefore experimental results are derived by measurements in the IVK / FKFS hot climatic wind tunnel.