2001 Mazda Miata intermittent starting problem

Problem: car cranks but doesn’t start then randomly it will start. 2 different shops…first thought maybe battery (no it cranks) but said these cars are notorious for cam sensor problems they didn’t have software to diagnose. Brought to dealership again battery (we were finally beat down and replaced battery) …then brought home if car sat for a few days totally dead needed jumpstart…brought back to dealer they replaced cam sensor and timing belt…went to pick it up and you guessed it…cranked but didn’t start…mechanic came out and it started…so after replacing several parts we are back to the same problem intermittent crank without start

They need to check the fuel pump pressure and if it has spark. Shooting in the dark is no good!

Yes to the above. Could be bad ignition switch, fuel pump relay, fuel pump, etc.

I’m assuming after they replaced the cam sensor, they verified the spark is ok. Fuel pressure check and phantom battery current tests are probably the next thing to do. The car should be able to sit for a few days and not run the battery dead. Unless the battery wasn’t fully charged to begin with, which is possible if they installed a new battery and you didn’t drive the car much after that. New batteries are often sitting in a warehouse for months and undercharged by the time they are purchased, and need to be driven a while to fully charge them up. Don’t give up. These kinds of intermittent problems often take some time to figure out, even for the best shop.

Squirt starter fluid in the intake and see if it fires up. This will tell you if you don’t have fuel, but do have spark. If it still does not fire, then you have and ignition problem.