This paper discusses simplified lumped parameter thermal modeling of power train components. In particular, it discusses the tradeoff between model complexity and the ability to correlate the predicted temperatures and flow rates with measured data. The benefits and problems associated with using a three lumped mass model are explained and the value of this simpler model is promoted. The process for correlation and optimization using modern software tools is explained. Examples of models for engines and transmissions are illustrated along with their predictive abilities over typical driving cycles.