I will be thorough here in hopes that someone has a suggestion I haven't thought of..
My wife's car (2011 Toyota RAV4, 4-cyl, 120k miles) had a starter that was going out so I replaced it 6 months ago. The new (refurbished) starter had a fault and needed to be persuaded with a hammer a few times over these 6 months so I was able to get a replacement under warranty. The car has been running perfectly without issue otherwise. I replaced the starter again last week after the car was sitting for about a week. Immediately after replacing I started it up to make sure it was good and on the first start it sputtered and died. So I checked over everything and my intake breather hose was a bit loose so I tightened it up and tried again. Started perfectly and ran smooth so I let it idle for about a minute and turned it off and assumed a job well done.
The next day my wife went to run errands and the car wouldn't start. It cranked but wouldn't fire up. At first I thought the new starter might be bad again (didn't think to check for the pulleys and belts spinning) so I put the old starter back in and had the same issue. At that point I looked at the pulleys and saw they were turning with the engine so I figured the starter was doing its job. I put the new starter back on and made sure to check that I didn't unplug anything accidentally while doing it the first time. Same issue, cranks but won't start.
So I checked spark and fuel. I pulled each spark plug and checked that it sparked as my wife cranked the engine, all were good. They all smelled like fuel from the cranking so I'm pretty sure the fuel delivery is fine as well. I can also hear the fuel pump prime when I turn the key to on. To be sure, I sprayed starter fluid in the intake hose and tried again, still nothing.
The next probable components are the crank and cam position sensors. The rpms jump slightly while cranking which is a sign that the crank position sensor is working. Its a pain to get to so I'm glad that one checks out. I tested voltage and ground to the two cam position sensors and they both check out. I can't actively test them without splicing the wires so I can't say for sure of them is not faulty. Maybe I'll buy a new sensor and swap it one at a time and see if that fixes it, but I don't want to just throw parts at it.
I checked that the immobilizer wasn't activated and tried the spare key in case the main one got disconnected somehow but that did not make a difference either. I also went back through and checked everything in vicinity of the starter that may have been shifted or unplugged, but everything checks out. I only had to take the battery out to get to it. I also unplugged the mass air sensor and tried starting without it connected in case it was giving a bad signal. Still nothing.
Tomorrow I will check all fuses (I know this is probably step 1, but if its cranking, sparking, and I'm adding starter fluid I'm not sure what fuse would keep it from starting), and compression. I have no reason to suspect loss of compression since the car ran perfectly before this but its all I have left at this point. If neither of those things are culprits I will have to tow it to a shop.
So if anybody has any other suggestions I'm all ears, I'm at my wits end here! Otherwise, I don't have a local trusted mechanic so if anyone can recommend a knowledgeable mechanical that can help diagnose and won't just throw parts at it please let me know.