Active engine mounts (AEMs) provide an effective solution to further improve the acoustic and vibrational comfort of passenger cars. Typically, adaptive feedforward control algorithms, e.g., the filtered-x-least-mean-squares (FxLMS) algorithm, are applied to cancel disturbing engine vibrations. These algorithms require an accurate estimate of the AEM active dynamic characteristics, also known as the secondary path, in order to guarantee control performance and stability. This paper focuses on the experimental and theoretical study of secondary path variations in AEMs. The impact of three major influences, namely nonlinearity, change of preload and component temperature, on the AEM active dynamic characteristics is experimentally analyzed. The obtained test results are theoretically investigated with a linear AEM model which incorporates an appropriate description for elastomeric components. A special experimental set-up extends the model validation of the active dynamic characteristics to higher frequencies up to 400 Hz. The theoretical and experimental results show that significant secondary path variations are merely observed in the frequency range of the AEM actuator's resonance frequency. These variations mainly result from the change of the component temperature. As the stability of the algorithm is primarily affected by the actuator's resonance frequency, the findings of this paper facilitate the design of AEMs with simpler adaptive feedforward algorithms. From a practical point of view it may further be concluded that algorithmic countermeasures against instability are only necessary in the frequency range of the AEM actuator's resonance frequency.