Today, mechanical systems such as the piston groups of internal combustion engines are simulated using Multiple Body-System (MBS) - approaches. However, the use of these models is restricted to a few problems as their adaptability is limited. The simulation of mechanical systems only by means of finite elements shows great promise for the future. In order to consider lubrication effects between two touching bodies of a mechanical system, a hydrodynamic contact algorithm (HCA) for finite element (FE) applications was developed. This paper discusses the technical background and first results for the simulation of a piston group using this new approach.