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My opinion is that with automatics, because of the amount of heat in them and how it affects their 'lifetime' and the usable lifetime of the oil, if you leave the same oil in it for the 'lifetime' of the trans, the trans' 'lifetime' will be much shorter....
In other words, ignore the boastful advertising claim and change the oil regularly (every 30K or less) for longest transmission life.
The F150 has a dipstick so no problem. The new Explorer, TBird, LS Lincoln and 2005 Mustang don't have a dipstick. Those have to be filled through a standpipe/drain plug in the pan. If you go to a shop that has a fluid flusher, which hooks into the cooler lines, the pan is not dropped anyway. Because none of the later model trannies have converter drain plugs, the flushing method is the way to go.
If you're changing the fluid, you should also change the filter, which means dropping the pan. I haven't seen an auto tranny in a pickup without a pan that can be removed to change the filter and drain the oil. Of course I don't have a new truck, so maybe there is an auto truck trans out there now with no removeable pan. Sounds like a nutty idea to me though...
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