How to Tell if AIO is Failing?

Is your AIO failing or not? You can learn if it is by knowing the tell-tale signs of failure or the symptoms of a failing AIO through this guide.

AIO or AiO stands for “All-in-One”. In the context of PCs and CPUs, it refers to All-in-One coolers composed of a cooling unit, tubes, pump, fan, and radiator. Because it’s AIO, it reliably cools down your rig and CPU when all is said and done.

However, what if your AiO rig starts failing? Do you even know how to tell if aio is failing? Keep on reading to find out!

How to Tell if AIO is Failing

Let’s say you’re running a Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. You’re cooling it with an original Enermax LiqTech TR4—your AIO cooler for the Ryzen GPU— a Taichi X399 MB. One of the first signs of your AIO cooler not doing its job because it’s on the doorstep of death include the following:

  • Drastically degraded performance.
  • Slower PC and constant freezing or hanging.
  • The PC gets super hot (the most obvious tell-tale sign).
  • The clock speed barely goes over 550Mhz when it’s capable of so much more.
  • Fixing it by redoing the CPU thermal compound doesn’t do any noticeable changes.

The Temperature is Your First Clue

In order to make sure it’s not a bug, glitch, app error, system error, or hardware damage that’s causing the slowdown, you’ll need to investigate further when it comes to the temperature.

To be more specific, let’s say your PC can only render 4K video at 300 bit depth on, for instance, the Adobe Media Encoder for so long. Although it works fine for about 20 to 30 minutes, after that your voltage drops to, say, for example, .880.

That could be caused by anything, but if in the BIOS you see everything is set to auto, the CPU is at the default overclock setting, yet your PC is defaulting to low voltage to keep your temperature to about 68°C or 155°F.

Zeroing In on the AIO Cooler and Troubleshooting It

You should run something like HWInfo or Hardware Monitor to check the temps and know if your PC is undergoing thermal throttling, there’s AIO failure, or something else is going on. A recently bought cooler that’s thermal throttling should push you to contact the maker if it’s under warranty.

In the case of the Enermax LiqTech TR4, contact Enermax for warranty and replacement details. A typical cooler like that should have a 2-year warranty. If it’s off-warranty, you might want to look to replace it altogether for the safety of your PC.

Feel the Hoses for Pump Failure or Clogging

Another option is pump failure or clogging on a perfectly functional Enermax LiqTech TR4. You should check and feel the hoses. If they’re not about the same temperature, then your coolant flow might be severely compromised by a weak pump or clogs.

However, if there’s no flow anymore on the hoses then they might still remain the same temperature anyway. So there’s no rule of thumb here. You might want to get a professional to get it looked at if you’re unaware of what to do yourself.


How do I know if AIO failed?

Use a tool like Hardware Monitor to check the temps. Click here.

How long does AIO usually last?

Generally, a well-made AIO water cooler can last you about 3 – 6 years. Whereas with custom solutions, they usually don’t last as long. Usually just 1 – 3 years without any sort of maintenance.

How do you test an AIO pump?

The easiest way to make sure your AIO Pump is working is by touching it with a finger to see if it’s vibrating. Depending on where you plugged in your Pump you’ll also be able to read your Pump speed in your BIOS or with Monitoring tools such as HWInfo.

Why is my AIO making noise?

If a PC with AIO liquid cooler got moved via long distance, there is a chance that the air bubbles, which is already there in the AIO liquid cooler before move, will get trapped in the liquid cooler head. When we got the delivered PC and turn it on, there would be extremely noisy rattling or bubbling noise.

Why is my CPU temp so high?

A serious malware infection will cause your CPU to work harder and your computer to run at a snail’s pace. Some common malware infections that cause a spike in CPU temperature include: Viruses (system infectors, file infectors, and macro) Trojans (backdoor, rootkit, exploit, among many others)

How do I know if my pump is working?

Easiest way to tell is by touching the pump to see if its vibrating. If you are reading RPMs in your bios it should be running.

Does AIO pump speed matter?

Pumps should run at a constant speed all the time. On my custom loop I have it set to 85% because that is as fast as it will go without being audible. Many AIO’s can be run at 100% and still be inaudible.

Do liquid coolers need maintenance?

Because it’s a sealed unit, they require little to no maintenance. They also don’t need to be topped up as they don’t experience evaporation like DIY setups. In order to maximize compatibility across a wide range of systems, all-in-one units often leave you with more tubing than you actually need.

How do I clean my AIO radiator?

Pretty much the same way as a regular PC. I simply open the case, take it outside and blow it all off with compressed air can. At the office I occasionally use neighbor’s compressor. The only important thing you need to remember, is to unplug all fans, regardless whether it’s air-cooled or AIO, that’s it.

Do AIO liquid coolers need maintenance?

AIO (All In One) liquid cooling solutions, also called Closed-Loop liquid coolers, are sealed coolers. Meaning they don’t require any maintenance at all since they can’t be refilled in the first place.

How do I stop CPU fan error?

How to Fix a CPU Fan Error

  1. Move your computer.
  2. Stop overclocking.
  3. Keep your computer cool.
  4. Clean the CPU fans.
  5. Check your CPU fan.
  6. Check your CPU fan’s location.
  7. Try an alternate CPU fan header.
  8. Check the CPU fan’s settings in BIOS.

How do I turn on AIO without a computer?

To run AIO without installing it in PC, you need to plug it to PSU and jumpstart the PSU. Then, you can put your ear to AIO pump and listen if it works.

How can I run my pump without turning on my computer?

Jump the PSU. Unplug everything except the pump from your PSU. Use a wire lead or a paper clip and jump the green wire from the 24 pin mobo plug to the black wire right next to it. this tricks the PSU into thinking it is hooked up to the mobo, so it will turn on when the switch is thrown.

Are AIO coolers loud?

Yes. Since your CPU works harder, it also produces more heat. And in turn, your AIO has to work harder: fans spin faster, pump speed goes up, to provide enough cooling for CPU. And with faster rotation speeds, there is louder noise.

How do I stop water cooler noise?

How to: Quiet a Noisy AIO Liquid Cooling pump from Asetek

Is it OK to have CPU at 100?

If the CPU usage is around 100%, this means that your computer is trying to do more work than it has the capacity for. This is usually OK, but it means that programs may slow down a little. Computers tend to use close to 100% of the CPU when they are doing computationally-intensive things like running games.

Is 70c too hot for CPU?

Above 80 degrees C (176 degrees F) is too hot and could cause damage to your computer if you run it for a sustained period. Beyond this, you should shut down your PC and let it completely cool down.

Is 95 degrees too hot for CPU?

If your CPU briefly just so happens to hit 95°, it isn’t going to cause catastrophic failure, but if it is around 95° frequently or for long periods of time, this is very, very bad. 85° should be the limit, and you really should not go above that.

How do I make sure my AIO is working?

The only way to accurately determine if your Liquid Cooling Pump is functioning, is by checking the Pump RPM. This will only be possible if the pump cable is connected directly to a fan header on the motherboard.

What causes car water pump failure?

Contaminated coolant, non-compatible coolant, or mixing coolants of different chemistries leads to premature water pump failure. Harmful contamination is common in systems that are not properly maintained. The contaminants (abrasive particles, engine oil…)

What causes pump failure?

Pump failure can be caused by several issues, including but not limited to: Pressure: restrictions in the pump’s suction can result in cavitation of the pump. Root causes of this are generally undersized suction lines, plugged suction strainer or valve issues.

Do AIO pumps make noise?

Unfortunately, there are indeed many installations of AIO liquid coolers, which are characterized by a more or less noisy bubbling or gurgling of the coolant which might in extreme cases even be accompanied by howling pump noises.

How fast should AIO fans be?

just set a slope that increases the fan speed when the CPU, GPU or coolant gets hotter. If I want a quieter system, I accept that it will run a little hotter. Your call, but I generally start with (and then tune) fans at 100% full speed around 70oC, half speed around 40oC and not turning or 20% around 20-30oC.

How do I get rid of air bubbles in my AIO pump?

Gently tilt the PC system forward and backwards to help work the bubbles through the cooler. Set the pump performance mode to “Extreme” and let it run for an hour to clear out the air bubbles from the pump chamber.

When should I replace my liquid cooling?

We recommend changing the fluid in your custom cooling system every 12 months to remove particulate build-up and ensure optimal thermal performance.

Do AIO coolers come filled?

These types of water coolers come pre-filled with a set of tubing connecting the water block and pump to the radiator. They don’t require any maintenance because it’s a sealed unit. They don’t have to be topped up because they don’t experience evaporation.

Do liquid CPU coolers leak?

Water cooled PC doesn’t leak when built properly.

There’s a very small chance it will occur as long as you don’t remove it too often. If you keep adjusting or reinstalling it, there’s a possibility that it will leak. Whatever type of water coolers you install, it’s guaranteed that you get the best performance.

The Final Words

Your AIO could be going bad if your PC is acting up and the performance you enjoyed previously from it isn’t apparent anymore. You can end up crashing your PC more often or you have issues with overheating you’d address by playing games in the middle of winter with no heater or something.


  1. How do I know if my AIO is going bad?“,, April 22, 2019
  2. Do I need a water cooling system?“, Inside Be Quiet (, November 25, 2020

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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