Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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Does the engine seem to have good power still? Have you noticed any backfiring?
It sounds like the engine is starving for fuel which would cause it too run hotter than normal. You may have the carburetor jet partially stopped up causing this, that would explain having to run partial choke and the heat. On a new machine I would normally recommend having it looked at by your local dealer but chances are they will give you a hard time about warranty if this is a fuel or carburetor issue since Kohler will most likely not cover it under warranty.
Maybe try running a fuel system cleaner through it, something like Sea Foam. Otherwise you will end up having to take the carburetor apart and give it a good cleaning.