2002 Jeep Liberty Stalling after Accident

About a month ago I was cruising down the highway at around 60mph when I was hit by a wayward light truck tire ricocheting across the road. It was nighttime and I had a car in the lane to my left, so by the time I saw the tire, there was nothing I could do to avoid hitting it. It hit me in the left front corner, popping my wheel flares, grill, bumper, etc., off the mounts and popping out the left fog lamp.

I called the police to write up a report and he deemed my car still drivable. Between the time of the accident and when the body shop was able to schedule me in, it rained. I was at our company storage space and it wouldn’t start–I got nothing except maybe a low whirr. I called AAA who came immediately (I know, I didn’t believe it either!), checked my battery and said it needed charging but was still good. He took the key and cranked it over no problem.

He suggested that it might be a wire shorting from the rain in the broken fog lamp. I immediately took it to the body shop as nondrivable and told them what was going on. A week later, I got the car back and they said they didn’t have any problems with it not starting.

Immediately thereafter, every time I start it in the morning, I have to put my foot on the accelerator to get it to start, and it’s a big sluggish to turn over. I have to keep my foot on the accelerator, let it warm up a bit and then rev it, take my foot off the accelerator and shift it into gear and put my foot back on the gas in order to keep it from stalling. Once it’s in gear, it is fine.

Typically this only happens when I start it for the first time in the morning, and seems to be worse the colder it is. However, when it’s really cold, it will sometimes require this when I start it again to come home from work in the afternoons.