Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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Can you tell me if the machine had fuel in it when you purchased it? If it has been sitting for a while the choke shaft could be stuck. Had the machine been stored outside prior to you purchasing it?
The first thing that I would do is spray some lubricant on the shaft, although it is plastic if the machine was sitting outside very long it may have oxidized and the choke it stuck. Removing the air filter base is not really going to gain you anything other than you can get to the lower part of the choke shaft lubricate it as well. The machine does have a two year warranty on the engine so if it does break off you can have it repaired under the warranty. You would just need to get in touch with a Kohler authorized repair center in your area, provide them with the purchase receipt and explain to them what happened.