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This is the choke, holding it open indicates the engine is trying to chock when not needed. It culd be that the chock linkage has come loose or possibly the cable is broken. If you have a separate choke control, try moving it in and out and see if the butterfly responds. If not, the cable may be broken internally. With the cable disconnected at the carb, the butterfly should be spring loaded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. The cable is attached and it moves the choke. There isn't a separate choke control and it is spring loaded. The spring is very lightweight and runs over the top of the choke control back to where it is attached to the engine. I'll take the air filter off and check to see if it moves the butterfly. Thanks again.
 

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Is this a push mower or a rider? Push mowers now have auto chokes that attach to a thermal device or fin that activates them. Riders are controlled by the driver thru a cable. Either way, the choke should be open as the engine is at a warmer temperature.
 
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