Should the oil in my Meriva need changing at 7600 miles?

On 18 July 2011 we purchased a pre-owned 2011 Vauxhall Meriva 1.4 turbo petrol with 3,000 miles on the clock. On 18 December 2011 a warning message came up to say that a service was due, and the oil and oil filter needed to be changed .The mileage was only 7600. The dealer (a Vauxhall agent) said this was not unusual for a modern car, and said the oil quality had reduced to the point where it needed changing and this also prompted the service warning. I had the work done and, to their credit, the dealer did halve the cost of the service when I complained. I am still concerned. Is it normal for oil to need changing after 7600 miles and nine months' use?
In the days when people were sensible, oil was routinely changed every 3000 miles. Then along came semi-synthetic and 'fully' synthetic oil and, to keep fleet cars on the road, manufacturers extended service intervals to as much as 22,000 miles, which was plain daft. A turbocharged engine can burn its oil very quickly. Did anyone ever tell you to idle the turbo after a long ascent, after towing or after cruising on the motorway? If you don't, the oil in the red hot turbo bearings can instantly carbonise, even when the turbo is watercooled. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with changing the oil and filter at 7600 miles.
Answered by Honest John on

Ask Honest John